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Animal Welfare Board of India - AWBI - Naresh Kadyan

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posted:3/12/2011
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Description: Humane Society International praised the Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India for banning the use of starvation [PDF] to force egg-laying hens into a molt phase. Starvation force molting, widely practiced on egg production facilities throughout India, deprives egg laying hens of food in order to rejuvenate their reproductive tracts and stimulate additional cycles of egg production. On Wednesday, the AWBI ordered all poultry farms in India to immediately discontinue starvation force molting regimes, stating that the practice is in violation of India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and a punishable offence. AWBI has directed local animal welfare organizations to work alongside law enforcement to ensure the ban is implemented. Under starvation force molting regimes, food is often withheld for up to 14 days and may be combined with 1-2 days of water deprivation. During a force molt, hens suffer greatly and may lose up to 35 percent 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 program “Starving hens for weeks on end is nothing less than animal cruelty and has no place in modern agricultural practices,” said N.G. Jayasimha, manager of HSI’s factory farming campaign in India. “By banning starvation force molting, the AWBI is taking an important step toward protecting farm animals.” Facts * Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory body of Government of India constituted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960. At present, the AWBI is working under the aegis of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. * Forced starvation molting dramatically increases the risk of hens' laying salmonella-infected eggs. * India’s ban on starvation force molting comes on the heels of a growing m