FRANCE - Thirty-six ministers from all sides of the French government have asked the Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll to end the practice of killing male layer chicks in hatcheries.
The question followed a campaign from the animal welfare organisation 'L'Association Ethique et Animaux L214', which released an undercover video from a Breton hatchery in November.
The video purportedly shows male layer chicks being thrown into grinders or suffocated in rubbish bags.
The officials asked the agriculture minister in a written question if he intends to introduce regulations to ensure sex determination in the egg, thus preventing the need for male chicks to hatch and then be killed.
Germany's agriculture minister Christian Schmidt recently announced that he aims to eliminate male layer chick killing by 2017, and made extra funds available to researchers to bring sex determination technology into practice.
The technology has already worked in tests, and the funds aim to help scientists at the University of Leipzig, amongst others, to develop a device for use in hatcheries.
"Every day, thousands of newborn chicks are shredded alive because they are considered as mere waste. This cruelty has lasted too long. The Civil Code now recognises animals as sentient beings: it is time to act accordingly," said Brigitte Gothière, spokesman for L214.
Go to our previous news item on Germany's announcement by clicking here.