After appeals from Mercy For Animals India and other animal protection groups, the Directorate of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary in Assam issued a circular to all zonal joint directors and district animal husbandry and veterinary officers to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and use of gestation and farrowing crates for pigs at farms in their districts.
Mother pigs in factory farms are abused for most of their lives. They are confined in cages that are barely larger than their bodies—gestation crates during pregnancy and farrowing crates when giving birth. Mother pigs suffer in these crates, enduring a cycle of pregnancy and birth until they are slaughtered. For many years, advocates have raised serious concerns about the impact of these crates on animal welfare.
Assam’s recent move to ban the use of gestation and farrowing crates in pig farming is a significant step towards reducing suffering for these animals. The letter directs authorities to ensure compliance with Section 11(1)(e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which states that any person who “keeps or confines any animal in any cage or receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement” is punishable by fine or imprisonment.
After appeals from Mercy For Animals India Foundation and other groups, more than 20 states—including Jharkhand, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Telangana, Manipur, Mizoram, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Sikkim, West Bengal, Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Punjab—have banned the use of gestation and farrowing crates.
The ban on these crates in Assam is a major victory for animal welfare in India. The decision highlights the importance of treating animals with compassion and respect and the need to improve the conditions in which they are kept. Animal advocates across the country hope the move will help prompt a nationwide ban.
Join us in urging the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and use of gestation and farrowing crates for pigs in compliance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.