France moves to ban male chick culling

The French government has announced it will ban the practice of culling male chicks in hatcheries by the end of 2021.

The decision was made after a meeting between French and German ministers from the two countries’ food and agriculture departments.

Around 90 million male chicks are culled by maceration in France each year, the government said in a statement, a practice it said was ‘unacceptable’.

Germany has already implemented a chick cull ban, but hatcheries have been given an exemption until reliable technology becomes commercially viable. Technology to detect the sex of the chick before hatch exists, but currently isn’t widely available. 

France and Germany has now set up a knowledge sharing programme to speed up the transition to new systems within hatcheries. This consortium “will have the mission of sharing scientific knowledge and implementing alternative methods in practice. An exchange platform will be created, and meetings will be organised alternately in Germany and in France which will make it possible to pilot and monitor the actions undertaken. It is through a strong commitment from all the players concerned that this practice of eliminating chicks can be eliminated as quickly as possible,” the French government said in a statement. 

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