France is set to become one of the first countries to ban the mass shredding of chicks from 2021 as part of animal welfare reforms.
An estimated 7 billion male chicks are cruelly slaughtered around the world each year as they can neither produce eggs or be used for their meat.
Many of these helpless animals are ground up alive through a process called maceration or ‘shredding’ whilst others are electrocuted, gassed or asphyxiated in plastic bags.
Thankfully a number of countries are now taking steps to prevent this senseless killing by instating bans on these practices.
Now France is joining the likes of Switzerland in banning controversial but widespread practices of live-shredding male chicks.
Speaking in Paris on Tuesday (28th January), France’s agriculture minister Didier Guillaume announced the ban which campaigners have spent years pushing to the forefront saying: “From the end of 2021, nothing will be like it was before.”
Guillaume added that he is hopeful that a more humane method of determining the gender of a chicken embryo in the egg before it hatched would soon be found as researchers have been working on devising a viable method.
Whilst this method has been found, each egg must be pierced to take samples making it uneconomically viable for use on an industrial scale.
Another positive step forward for animal welfare in France is Guillaume’s announcement that the country will no longer castrate piglets without anaesthesia.
However, animal rights activists feel the bans don’t go far enough to improve the lives of farmed animals.
Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) animal lobbying group believes the country must stop the barbaric castration of piglets altogether and has also criticised Guillaume for not announcing a ban on eggs from cage-raised chickens who live their lives in horrific conditions.
French L214 group agrees with CIWF, saying the bans don’t go far enough towards ending the suffering of these animals, stating: “There is nothing on slaughter conditions, nor on how to exit from intensive animal farming.”