The Union government on Thursday informed the Punjab and Haryana high court that it has already issued directions to various states as well as Union Territories to phase out the existing facility of using battery cages for confining egg-laying hens by 2017 so as to adhere to the provisions of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The information was submitted before the division bench comprising acting chief justice Ashutosh Mohunta and justice Anupinder Singh Grewal during the resumed hearing of a petition filed by Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation (FIAPO). The petitioner organisation had brought to the notice of the high court that egg-laying hens were being confined in battery cages across Punjab and Haryana.
The petitioner had apprised the court that India is the third largest producer of eggs in world and commercial farmers confine their hens to small battery cages where even bird's movement is restricted.
Appearing for the central government, special senior standing counsel Onkar Singh Batalvi informed the court that the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change had issued the direction to the state governments in February 2012 to issue further directions to the poultry farmers to prohibit the use of battery cages to confine egg-laying hens in a phased manner in next five years by 2017.
The high court has now adjourned the case for next hearing to January 22 for filing reply and arguments by the Poultry Federation of India.