PARIS (Reuters) – France will ban the slaughter of male chickens by crushing or gassing, a practice denounced as barbaric by animal welfare groups, starting next year, and will push for a similar measure at the European level, the agriculture minister said on Sunday.
Every year, 50 million male chickens are slaughtered in this way, Julien Denormandie said in an interview published on the website of the daily Le Parisien. Only the females, future laying hens, are kept alive.
“France is the first country in the world, along with Germany, to end the squashing and gassing of male chickens,” Denormandie added.
The two countries will try to convince their European Union partners to ban the practice at a council of EU agriculture ministers on Monday, he said.
Starting in 2022, breeders in France will need to equip themselves with machines to detect the sex of chicks before they hatch.
“The dynamic is underway and, given the orders already placed, the machines will be installed for two-thirds of production in France by the end of the first quarter of 2022,” added Denormandie.
The measure is expected to generate an additional cost of 1 euro cent per box of six eggs, he said.
To help breeders purchase the equipment, France will award grants totaling 10 million euros ($ 11.8 million).
Castration of live piglets will also be banned from early 2022, Denormandie said.
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