By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 28 Jul: After appeals from Mercy For Animals India Foundation to prohibit the use of gestation and farrowing crates used to confine pigs in the state, the Director of Animal Husbandry, Dr Prem Kumar, has issued a circular directing the chief veterinary officers to ensure that the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, are not violated by the pig farms while rearing pigs.
The department issued this circular after taking cognizance of the recommendations issued by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and the directions of the Director of Animal Husbandry Department, Punjab.
“Pigs are reared in extreme confinement in gestation and farrowing crates not allowing the pigs to move an inch,” says Nikunj Sharma, CEO of Mercy For Animals India Foundation. “As a result, the pigs suffer bone degeneration and show signs of extreme stress, including biting the metal bars of the crates. We are grateful to the government of Uttarakhand for this considerate direction.”
The Uttarakhand circular follows orders by the Manipur, Gujarat and Delhi governments banning gestation crates after a Mercy For Animals India Foundation’s campaign. Upon learning about the plight of pigs confined in gestation crates from Mercy For Animals India Foundation, Bollywood star and animal lover John Abraham sent a letter to Parshottam Rupala, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, urging a nationwide ban on gestation and farrowing crates.
A right-to-information response furnished by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) National Research Centre on Pigs, states that gestation and farrowing crates severely restrict movement and hence violate Section 11(1)(e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. ICAR referred to a demi-official letter dated January 2014 to all veterinary universities and the National Research Centre on Pigs advising against the use of gestation crates in universities or research facilities. ICAR also cited the Directorate of Animal Husbandry, Punjab, which had issued directives to district officers to ensure that no gestation crates are used in the state.