French egg industry backs chick culling ban, calls for EU-wide extension

After French Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie announced a ban on the crushing of male chicks, questions arose as to how feasible such a move would be, particularly regarding the cost and adopted technique. EURACTIV France reports.

By 1 January 2022, all French hatcheries must be equipped with or have ordered the machines needed to carry out so-called “in-ovo sexing”, a technique used to determine the sex of future chicks in the egg in order to destroy male chicks before they hatch.

The announcement was welcomed by animal rights NGO CIWF France, who pointed out that citizens and animal protection associations have strongly criticising the practice of killing male chicks for years.

But changing practices is easier said than done, especially as the sexing technique has not yet been developed in France, meaning it will probably have to choose from already existing methods from abroad.

German-Dutch company Seleggt, German group AAT and German tech group Plantegg have all been hard at work in developing in-ovo sexing techniques, which enables them to determine the chick’s sex, either by analysing the egg’s fluid or the colour of feathers inside the egg.