Reading Time: 2 minutes Germany culls an estimated 45 million male chicks each year Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Germany moves closer to banning the mass culling of male chicks.

This week, the country’s Cabinet approved a draft law that will prohibit the controversial practice from January 1, 2022.

‘A significant step forward’

According to The Guardian, agriculture minister Julia Klöckner says the move is ‘a significant step forward for animal welfare’.

She added: “We have invested millions of euros in alternatives, bringing animal welfare and economic efficiency together on German soil.”

Around the world, millions of male chicks are killed shortly after they are hatched. This is because they cannot lay eggs and are unsuitable for meat production. 

It is reported that in Germany alone, an estimated 45 million male chicks are culled annually. However, technology that can now determine the sex of a chick threatens to halt the pracitice. 

One German company has developed a technique that uses a laser to make a tiny hole and then extract liquid from a fertilized egg. Then, it can test the hormones and determine the sex of the chicken before it is born.

Culling ban 

Germany is not the only country to move away from male chick culling. Last year, France announced it too would ban the practice, by the end of this year. 

“It’s time to end the shredding of chicks,” said Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume as he announced the measures, which also included ending the castration of piglets without anesthesia

“France and Germany should be the European motor to advance on this issue. Nothing will be like it was before.”

‘Boycott animal products’

According to The Vegan Society, the only way to stop chicks from suffering, is to boycott animal products.

Spokesperson Dominika Piasecka told PBN: “Gassing and shredding someone to death both sound like the most horrendous ways to die. And, by buying and consuming eggs, customers are directly contributing to this awful practice. 

“It happens across the egg industry, regardless of the eggs being marketed as cage-free, organic or so-called ‘humane’. Veganism rejects the notion of animals being seen as commodities and animal products being seen as food.

“As vegan advocates, we need to change the way people think about eating animal products and we can only do this by rejecting all animal products, from any source, in any form.”

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.