INDIA – The Director of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry for the Government of Nagaland in India has directed all egg producers in the state to stop starving laying hens to force them into a molt.
This development follows the March 2011 order of the Animal Welfare Board of India, which directed all poultry farms in the country to immediately discontinue starvation force molt regimes, stating that the practice is in violation of India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and is a punishable offence.
“Humane Society International is grateful to the government of Nagaland,” said N.G. Jayasimha, manager of HSI’s factory farming campaign in India.
“Farmers who continue to starve birds to induce molt should be prosecuted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.”
Starvation force molting, widely practiced on egg production facilities throughout India, deprives egg-laying hens of food in order to manipulate their laying cycles.
Food is often withheld for up to 14 days and may be combined with one or two days of water deprivation. During a force molt, hens suffer greatly and may lose up to 35 per cent of their body weight.
This practice of food withdrawal has been widely questioned throughout the world and is already prohibited in Australia and the European Union, and prohibited in the United States by the egg industry’s animal husbandry programme.
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