France will stop shredding and gassing baby chickens by 2022

Baby chickens, photo: Yucelozber via Canva
Baby chickens, photo: Yucelozber via Canva

France will stop killing live male chicks in the chicken industry in 2022 after years of protests from animal welfare activists, agriculture minister Julien Denormandie said Sunday. They will start destroying the eggs and not the live animals.

Every year, millions of male baby chickens are killed after being born because they can’t ‘produce’ eggs and have less meat. The baby animals are shredded or gassed with carbon dioxide.

Animal welfare activists have long campaigned to end the killing, but farmers have complained there is no practical and affordable and alternative.

There are technologies to determine the sex of chickens before they’re born, so the egg can be destroyed and not the baby animal.

“As of January 1, 2022, all chicken farms will have to have installed or ordered machines letting them learn a chick’s sex in the egg,” Denormandie told the daily Le Parisien.

“2022 will be the year when shredding and gassing of male chicks ends in France,” he said, saying the law would prevent the killing of 50 million male chicks every year.

The country will provide a financial aid package of 10 million euros ($11.8 million) to help farmers buy the necessary equipment, he added.

The move comes after Germany said in January that it would also ban the killing of baby chickens next year. Switzerland banned the shredding of live chicks last year, but still allows them to be gassed.

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