Eleven Indian animal welfare organisations including People for Animals (PFA) and Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) have joined forces to set up “The Bharat Initiative for Accountability”, a collective effort aimed at ensuring corporate accountability and improved animal welfare standards within the Indian egg industry. The coalition has set its sights on addressing the wide spread usage of battery cage facilities in the country, emphasising their detrimental impact on animal welfare.

Battery cages, characterised by their cramped and restrictive living conditions, have long been a source of concern for animal welfare advocates. These barren metal cages confine hens in spaces so small that they cannot spread their wings or engage in natural instinctive behaviours, leading to severe physical and psychological distress.

Despite major global corporations including hotel chains and food and beverage majors making commitments to transition their egg supply to cage-free eggs, which includes their India supply, there has been a glaring lack of transparency and progress here, the coalition said.

The Bharat Initiative for Accountability coalition has been formed to hold these companies accountable for their public commitments, ensuring that Indian consumers are not undermined compared to consumers in other countries.

In a statement, Sudha Narayan of Bengaluru NGO Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre (CARE) stated, Battery cages used in commercial egg production are hell for hens. To put an end to this unethical practice, the Bharat Initiative for Accountability was formed. We hope to end this cruel practice through accountability and awareness campaigns, so that corporations can move from the cruel battery cage format to cage-free options.

Anishka George of Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), another Bangalore-based NGO, stated, “CUPA joins the Bharat Initiative for Accountability, to lessen cruelty in the egg-laying industry. We hope to collectively bring compassion and responsibility in the industry.”

The Bharat Initiative for Accountability coalition is committed to fostering partnerships with corporations, engaging in constructive dialogue, and closely monitoring progress toward transitioning to cage-free eggs within the Indian market. By advocating for corporate accountability and raising awareness about the importance of animal welfare, it aims to create a more compassionate and ethical future for the Indian egg industry, the coalition said.

Organisations in the coalition include All Creatures Great and Small (ACGS), Blue Cross of India, Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre (CARE), Consumers for Sustainability, Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), Help in Suffering (HIS), Humane Animal Society (HAS), Just be Friendly (JBF), People for Animals (PFA), RESQ Charitable Trust, and Save Animals Value Environment (SAVE).