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Polluter Pay principle- Environmental Degradation due to Factory Farming and

Deplorable conditions of Animal keeping in the process in India


Authors: Tejas Sateesha Hinder and Abhijeet Kashyap, Students, National Law Institute University, Bhopal, India

Abstract The issue arises out of the brutal treatment meted out to the birds involved in factory farming and the environmental degradation caused by mismanagement in the poultry farms. The treatment of chickens and the conditions in which they are kept not only affect the lives of these birds but also interfere with the human lives that come in contact with these birds and the farms in any manner. The poultry industry in India has been one of the fastest growing industries in the country. It has developed from Backyard Farming in the 1950s to a major commercial agri-based industry with application of modern technologies developed in the past decades. India is now the world’s third largest producer of eggs as per the FAO of the United Nations. However, this rapid rise in the poultry industry is marred by neglect of the birds driving the industry. The layer chickens are kept in small barren wire cages, also known as “Battery cages” which are arranged next to each other in long files. Housed in these cramped and congested cages, the birds are not even able to stand up. This method of stocking hens prevents their natural behaviour such as nesting, perching, roosting, scratching and foraging. It causes sore feet, abrasions, broken bones and similar bodily injuries to them. Such birds are also exposed to the risk of diseases caused from the huge piles of litter collected underneath the cages. This paper looks into the issue of improper management practices followed in the poultry industry, and how the same violates the rights of the birds, by virtue of recognition of these rights under the Indian and Constitution and various other legislations, and also that of human beings, due to the adverse impact on the environment. The paper brings out the standard global norms with regard to these practices, and how India’s practices fail to meet the same, and concludes on affixation of liability under the polluter pay principle, due to the adverse environmental impacts caused by the aforesaid farming and management practices.

Keywords: Environmental Degradation, Constitution, Animal Health, Deep Pocket theory.

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