After receiving a representation from Mercy For Animals India Foundation and other animal protection groups, the director of the Animal Husbandry Department issued an order prohibiting the use of gestation and farrowing crates to confine pregnant and nursing pigs. The circular directs the department to ensure that penal action be taken against any farmer or farm using gestation crates, under 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 for a first offence and by fine and possible imprisonment for a subsequent offence.
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. ICAR cited a demi-official letter dated January 2014 that advises all veterinary universities and the National Research Centre on Pigs that gestation crates should not be used in universities or research facilities. ICAR also referenced the Directorate of Animal Husbandry, Punjab, which had issued directives to district officers to ensure that no gestation crates are used in the state.
Last week John Abraham, a Bollywood superstar and well-known animal lover, sent an urgent letter on behalf of Mercy For Animals to Shri Parshottam Rupala, the minister of fisheries, animal husbandry, and dairying, urging him to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and use of gestation and farrowing crates in pig farms across India.
You can take a stand for pigs—and all farmed animals—simply by eating more plant-based foods.