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Animal welfare groups oppose reopening poultry shops amid Covid-19 | India News

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CHENNAI: Animal welfare groups in India have opposed the Center’s suggestion to allow poultry shops to reopen amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a letter addressed to the secretary, the Ministry of Fisheries, Livestock and Dairy, prominent animal welfare organizations including People for Animals (PFA), Humane Society International / India (HSI / India), Mercy for Animals India Foundation and Ahimsa Trust have expressed concern over the recent government letter to the chief state secretaries asking them to consider opening poultry stores during the shutdown.
The groups said there is mounting evidence and research conducted over the past year showing that intensive animal agriculture and live animal markets that confine animals in small spaces create an increased risk of amplifying the disease.
The scientific evaluation of the United Nations Environment Program was also cited, where they stated that the growing demand for animal protein and the intensification of animal agriculture were the main drivers of the emergence of zoonotic diseases.
“It is shocking that the department of animal husbandry is writing to all states about the reopening of poultry stores, most of which have been deemed illegal rather than using this time to fix the problems,” Gauri said. Maulekhi, Trustee of PfA.
“While reopening poultry shops may seem like a quick fix, it comes at a cost and will continue to do so for poultry workers and consumers if things continue as they are. We cannot afford another health crisis because of this. ”
Alokparna Sengupta, Managing Director of Humane Society International / India, said: “We sent a letter with our recommendations last year and we sent them again this year. You need to change farming practices before it’s too late. The next pandemic could very well emerge from poultry farms due to the overcrowding and unsanitary conditions that prevail on the farms. We offer our support to both government and industry to make poultry practices more sustainable. ”
The group has made the following recommendations in its letter:
~ A reduction in the number of animals raised for human food, to reduce animal population density both within farms and geographically.
~ Phasing out the use of intensive animal agriculture facilities, including battery cages and gestation cages used for overcrowding animals.
~ Elimination of long-distance transport of live animals.
~ Policies to protect natural ecosystems from agricultural expansion and other sources of degradation and fragmentation.
~ Ban on the sale of poultry in all live bird markets and restrictions on live animal exhibits.

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