Germany set to become first country to ban chick shredding

Germany set to become first country to ban chick shredding

The German government has approved a draft bill that will make it the first country to ban the widespread use of chick shredding in the agriculture sector. 

The decision shows a major u-turn since 2019

The new draft bill comes after a relatively recent Federal Administrative Court ruling stating that chick shredding would remain lawful, in 2019. If approved, the new law would make Germany the first country in the world to stop the mass culling of male chicks, a practice which kills an estimated seven billion animals globally each year. 

Animal welfare activists have long campaigned for the ban of chick shredding but, until now, the state has deemed it economically necessary to the agricultural sector. 

New technologies make the ban possible

Male chicks are often shredded or gassed due to their inability to produce eggs and propensity to generate less meat, when compared with female chicks. With around 34 million chicks killed this way in Germany alone each year, the bill will come as a small win for activists.

The government argued that new technologies now make it possible to determine the sex of chicks before they hatch. From 2024, therefore, the draft law would require poultry farmers to use these methods to identify and terminate the male chicks before they grow to such a size that they can feel pain. 

Animal rights activists argue that the bill does not go far enough, stressing that, even though the bill is a step in the right direction, it does not address other important issues in the poultry farming industry.

The legislation must now be approved by the Bundestag. 



Emily Proctor

Former Editor at IamExpat Media.

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