After appeals from Mercy For Animals India Foundation to prohibit the use of gestation and farrowing crates to confine pigs in the state, the director of animal husbandry directed the chief veterinary officers of all districts to ensure that pigs in Uttar Pradesh are reared naturally and no pig farm uses gestation or farrowing crates. Furthermore, the director has issued a circular instructing the state’s chief veterinary officers to keep pig farms under strict supervision to ensure that the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, are not violated. Uttar Pradesh has a pig population of about 14 lakh—the second-highest in the country.
The Uttar Pradesh order follows those of the Manipur, Gujarat, and Delhi governments in response to a Mercy For Animals India Foundation campaign to ban gestation and farrowing crates. Upon learning about the plight of pigs confined in these crates from Mercy For Animals India Foundation, Bollywood star and animal lover John Abraham sent a letter to Shri Parshottam Rupala, minister of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, urging a nationwide ban.
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.
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