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KILL THEM KINDLY: Germany to ban ‘chick shredding’ from 2022 in global first

Chicken farms across the world traditionally slaughter male chicks by the millions. In Germany alone, 45 million male chicks are killed each year in a practice that animal advocates call 'chick shredding.'

DW: Germany will ban the slaughter of day-old male chicks starting in 2022, becoming the first country to do so, according to draft legislation signed by the Cabinet… Chicken farms across the world traditionally slaughter male chicks by the millions, but German farmers will have to stop the practice. Instead, they will be required to use technology to prevent male chicks from being born in the first place, by identifying the sex of the animal before it has hatched…

In Germany alone, about 45 million male chicks are killed each year in a practice that animal welfare advocates call “chick shredding.” The chicks are culled shortly after hatching because they cannot lay eggs and are not suitable for meat production, meaning that raising them would not be economically viable…

“This is unfortunately in practice everywhere in the world. But I do not consider this to be ethically acceptable,” said Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner, who proposed the bill. “Therefore, we will be the first country to ban chick culling by law,” she said in a speech marking the start of Germany’s International Green Week. At a later phase in the transition, from early 2024, only methods used much earlier in the incubation process will be allowed, aiming to ensure that the embryos feel no pain… Despite the move to ban the practice, advocates and critics have called for more far-reaching measures…

Martin Rücker, managing director of consumer advocacy organization Foodwatch, echoed Bandt’s views. “Anyone who wants animal welfare must put an end to the animal-cruelty madness of high-performance hens,” he said. Even if the practice of killing chicks in Germany is banned, “this will change absolutely nothing about the unbearable suffering of laying hens,” said Rücker. Parliamentary co-chair of the Left Party, Amira Mohamed Ali, also said that the new measures do not go far enough. “The male chicks must be raised and under decent conditions,” she said. SOURCE…

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