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Government of Karnataka Directs Layer Farm Owner To Discontinue Starvation Force Molting Of Laying Hens

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Government of Karnataka Directs Layer Farm Owner To Discontinue Starvation
Force Molting Of Laying Hens

BENGALURU (12 May, 2011) -The Joint Secretary of Animal Husbandry and
Fisheries, Government of Karnataka, has directed all egg producers in the
state to stop starving laying hens to force them into a molt. This Direct
Order follows the order of the Animal Welfare Board of India, which directed
all poultry farms in the country to immediately discontinue starvation force
molt regimes, stating that the practice is in violation of India's
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and a punishable offence.

The Managing Director of the Karnataka Cooperative Poultry Federation has
also issued a circular reiterating the directions of the state government
and the Animal Welfare Board of India.

"We are grateful to the government of Karnataka and we hope that the poultry
farmers follow these directions," said N.G. Jayasimha, manager of HSI's
factory farming campaign in India. "Farmers who continue to starve birds to
induce molt must be prosecuted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Act 1960."

Last month, Member of the Legislative Assembly Shri. Ramalinga Reddy had
urged the chief minister of Karnataka and the minster of animal husbandry to
ensure that all egg-laying farms in the state discontinue starvation force
molt regimes, in accordance with the order by the Animal Welfare Board of
India.

Starvation force molting, widely practiced on egg production facilities
throughout India, deprives egg-laying hens of food in order to rejuvenate
their reproductive tracts and stimulate additional cycles of egg production.
Food is often withheld for up to 14 days and may be combined with 1-2 days
of water deprivation. During a force molt, hens suffer greatly and may lose
up to 35 percent of their body weight. This practice of food withdrawal has
been widely questioned throughout the world and is already prohibited in
Australia and the European Union, and prohibited in the United States by the
egg industry's animal husbandry program.

Facts

. Starvation force molting dramatically increases the risk of hens'
laying salmonella-infected eggs.

. These actions against starvation force molting comes on the heels
of a growing movement against battery cage egg production and farm animal
cruelty within the country.

. India's factory farms confine 140 to 200 million hens in barren
battery cages, where each bird lives within a space smaller than a single
standard sized sheet of paper.

. Hotels including Crowne Plaza Today-Gurgaon, Four Seasons Hotel
Mumbai, as well as specialty restaurant Hao Shi Nian Nian and celebrity Chef
Mako Ravindran have ended their procurement of eggs from caged hens.

Media Contact:

N.G.Jayasimha: (0)9490732614 ngjayasimha@hsi.org

Kristen Eastman: 301-721-6440, keastman@humanesociety.org

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