Cruelty to caged egg-laying birds has risen to harrowing levels; Find out more in PFA awareness film! (Representational image: PTI)
The overcrowded cities and tall rising concrete jungles have bestowed humans to confine in their own small personal space, physically and mentally. Well, guess what, animals are not spared either! The hustle of pacing journey that every living being is leading is slowly reflecting upon the caged creature. An animal protection body has drawn eyes towards the extreme cruelty of intensive confinement of egg-laying hens in India and has made the statement public by making an awareness film.
Animal activists People for Animals (PFA) stated that the situation of birds has become appalling as they are forced to shelter in barren wire cages called “battery cages”. This small boxes, or cages, provide each bird less space than an A4 size sheet (450 sq cm)! The ghastly ambiance does not stop here, as the birds are not even allowed to spread their wings, stand up straight or even turn around, due to lack of space.
In the film, Gauri Maulekhi, who is the Trustee of PFA, brought to light that every creature on this earth deserves to lead a decent life and this is nothing more than their statutory right. She also demonstrates the importance of having access to a nest box, which is possible in a cage-free environment that allows hens to express one of their essential natural behaviors leading to a happier and healthier flock.
The film calls for a movement that would be in support towards housing egg-laying hens in an environment that is not restricted to the small cages. This would lead to the reduction in unnecessary cruelty to hens.
"Through the medium of the film, the public is also being made aware of the fact that keeping hens in battery cages is a violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960). Under Section 11(1)(e) of the Act, it is illegal to keep any animal or bird in a cage that does not measure sufficiently in size so as to permit a reasonable opportunity for movement," a PFA statement said.
In August, the Uttarakhand High Court in an order had recognised cruelty to hens in battery cages and directed a ban on the usage of battery cage facilities throughout the state, the statement said.
"Earlier, the Supreme Court, Law Commission of India, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Ministry of Science and Technology, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Delhi High Court have held that battery cages are cruel to the birds," it said.
The film makes an appeal to the public to prevent industrial cruelty to billions of egg-laying hens.