Germany to Ban Mass Slaughter of Male Chicks in 2022

Germany will become the latest country to ban the mass slaughter of male chicks in the egg industry, with the government announcing a new decree that it hopes will end this cruel practice in 2022. 

THE DETAILS: Every year, billions of male chicks—including 45 million in Germany—are killed by industrial agricultural farmers as they are considered useless by both egg and poultry producers since they do not lay eggs and aren’t the breed used for meat production. The practice of chick culling includes the brutal method of live-shredding, where chicks are ground up alive in a giant, high-speed grinder. Last year, France announced a similar ban to go in effect in 2021

ALTERNATIVES TO REDUCE SUFFERING: “In-ovo sexing” technology has been developed that can detect the sex of chicks in their embryonic state, allowing producers to prevent the development and subsequent death of male chicks. In-ovo sexing systems use intelligent trays or laser systems to recognize the sex of the egg’s embryo, allowing male or unfertilized eggs can be discarded. After many years of development, this technology is now available and ready to be implemented on a large scale.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: “This measure represents an important step forward for animal welfare. We have invested millions of euros in alternatives, combining the welfare of animals and economic efficiency on German soil,” says Julia Klöckner, Minister of Agriculture of Germany, noting that she wants the country to be a role model for others.

WHAT WE’RE SAYING: “Germany’s decision to end male chick culling is a monumental step forward in creating a world where all animals are protected and respected. With the help of groundbreaking in-ovo sexing technology, we are hopeful more governments will follow suit and similarly ban this horrific practice.” Sharon Núñez, President of Animal Equality. 

WHAT WE’RE DOING: Animal Equality is working across the globe to ensure that chick culling within the egg industry is banned and that in-ovo sexing systems are implemented by egg producers. Over the past few months, our efforts in Spain and Italy have gathered tens of thousands of signatures opposing the brutal practice of male chick culling, and soon we will be launching similar campaigns in other countries. We are also engaging with major producers to develop policies that would spare continued pain and suffering to male chicks. In the meantime, please leave animals off your plate and share this life-changing news with your networks.


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