Vive le France! France has banned the mass slaughter of male chicks at egg farms and chick hatcheries. The barbaric practice of gassing, grinding, or suffocating day-old male chicks is business as usual in the egg industry. Male chicks don’t grow up to be egg-laying hens and are therefore considered “worthless.” France follows Germany in enacting the ban and is pushing for a similar ban across Europe.
Here in the U.S., however, politicians in the pocket of agribusiness refuse to consider a similar ban. According to Humane Facts, more than 260 million male chicks are killed each year in the U.S. by suffocation, gassing (carbon dioxide or argon), maceration (fully conscious chicks are dropped into high-speed grinders, or electrocution (a high-speed vacuum sucks chicks through a series of pipes to a kill plate). All mass producers of eggs in the U.S. cull (kill) male chicks or depend upon hatcheries that do so. Mass egg producers account for 95% of egg production, but the other 5% also tend to cull male chicks. Even organic or local farms have their individual practices of killing “worthless” male chicks or letting them die. Globally, some six billion newborn male chicks are killed every year.
United Egg Producers, representing 95% of the commercial egg producers in the U.S., agreed a few years ago to stop the practice by 2020, but seems to have changed their mind. Too expensive, they said, noting that adopting the technology that permits eggs to be sexed after being laid to separate male embryos from female would add two cents to the price of a dozen eggs. Americans, they believe, don’t care about animal cruelty and won’t pay two cents to stop it. Prove them wrong. Demand your legislators end the slaughter of living, breathing, feeling, male chicks now.
Peace to ALL the animals with whom we share this planet!