The German government has approved a bill that will make it the first country to ban the widespread use of chicken chopping in the agricultural sector.
This decision represents a major change since 2019
The new bill comes after a relatively recent Federal Administrative Court ruling declared that shredding chicks will still be lawful, in 2019. If approved, the new law will make Germany the first country in the world to stop the mass extermination of male chicks, a practice that kills an estimated seven billion animals globally each year.
Animal welfare activists have long campaigned for banning chicks, but until recently the country considered this to be economically necessary for the agricultural sector.
New technology makes prohibition possible
Male chicks are often shredded or gassed due to their inability to produce eggs and tend to produce less meat, when compared to female chicks. With an estimated 34 million chicks killed this way in Germany alone each year, the bill will be a small win for activists.
The government argues that new technology now makes it possible to determine the sex of chicks before they hatch. Therefore, starting in 2024, the bill requires poultry farmers to use this method to identify and destroy male chicks before they grow to such an extent that they can feel pain.
Animal rights activists argue that the bill does not go far enough, stressing that, while the bill is a step in the right direction, it does not address other important issues in the poultry industry.
The law must now be approved by the Bundestag.
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