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France will ban the culling of unwanted male chicks by 2022

Each year, about 50 million male chicks — not wanted for meat or eggs — are culled in France, usually by shredding or gassing. That number, however, will soon become zero, thanks to a new law passed by the government, which will ban the killing of male chicks from next year.

Billions of male chicks are culled each year around the world because they don’t produce eggs nor grow as large as female chicks. For years, animal welfare groups have pushed for legislation that outlaws the practice, denouncing it as barbaric and ethically unacceptable.

“France is the first country in the world, along with Germany, to end the crushing and gassing of male chicks,” said Julien Denormandie, France’s Agriculture Minister. In May, Germany announced a similar policy, which will go into effect by 2022.

As reported by Reuters, the initiative comes after years of pushback by animal welfare groups. Activists will continue to urge for the legislation to be adopted at the European level.

In 2022, chick breeders will be required to adopt machines that can detect the sex of chicks before they hatch. The state will provide farmers with a financial aid package of about $11.8 million in a bid to support them in acquiring the equipment.

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