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Welfare Groups Want Modern Farming Banned

by 5m Editor
28 July 2011, at 8:05am

INDIA - Humane Society International and the Animal Welfare Board of India have asked the Commerce Minister to prohibit foreign direct investment that introduces intensive farming systems.

Humane Society International (HSI) and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) have asked Shri. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce & Industry to prohibit foreign direct investment for the rearing of animals in cages, crates, or other forms of intensive confinement that violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960.

The organisations sent letters to Minister Sharma in response to a new Government of India policy encouraging 100 per cent foreign direct investment for the rearing of animals under intensive farming systems. Internationally, the animal agribusiness sector is known for intensive systems that confine egg laying hens, breeding sows and other farm animals in cages and crates that prevent them from walking, fully stretching their limbs and performing many other important natural behaviour.

The AWBI letter states that India's PCA Act specifically forbids the confinement of 'any animals in any cage or receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement'. Conventional egg production systems, which confine laying hens in battery cages that prevent the birds from fully spreading their limbs are allowed by the foreign direct investment policy but are in violation of the PCA Act. Therefore, the new foreign direct investment policy may violate the animal protection law enacted by the Parliament of India.

N.G. Jayasimha, manager of HSI's factory farming campaign in India, commented: "The Government must encourage animal welfare and environmental sustainability within the Indian food sector by only allowing those foreign companies who adhere to high standards for animal welfare, and employing cage-free systems for housing egg laying hens and other animals to enter India."