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France bans egg industry's practice of shredding male chicks alive

France has approved a new bill which says that by the end of 2021, it will be illegal to shred live male chicks throughout the French animal agriculture industry.

This practice is standard in egg production in many places around the world. Chickens are placed in a reproductive cycle, where they replace older hens that are not as productive anymore with newer hens, and the older hens are sent to slaughter. Since only hens lay eggs, if a male is born it has no value for the industry and is slaughtered. One of the most common methods is to shred the chick while still alive and conscious, or to suffocate them inside plastic bags or with gas, for example.

"We want to move forward, there's no going back. The government is committed to it", said agriculture minister Didier Guillaume.

Photo: Andrew Skowron

In the upcoming weeks, yet another important measure regarding animal welfare is expected: the government is going to publish regulatory texts to ban the practice of castrating young male pigs without anesthetic.

This is another standard practice around the world. In the meat industry, this type of surgical procedure is done on male piglets in its first weeks of life to avoid unwanted reproduction, aggressiveness (which is aggravated by physical deprivation such as lack of space in the barns, or lack of food) and to make the meat smell and taste better (the meat of uncastrated pigs usually presents boar taint, an unpleasant odour and taste caused by pheromones and byproducts of intestinal bacteria).

Without anesthesia, analgesia or stunning, their skin is cut open and their testicles are ripped out, which causes them enormous stress and excruciating pain.

Photo: Andrew Skowron

These measures are going to impact a high number of animals and are a great advancement for the animal rights movement. On the other hand, only stopping eating meat and other animal products will end animal exploitation and suffering definitively. Please consider being part of the change and giving animals freedom.


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