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Egg scanners could be used to stop the mass slaughter of newborn male chicks

Egg scanners could be used to stop mass slaughter of newborn male chicks unwanted for meat, government hints

  • They are undesirable for meat because legs and breasts do not grow as fast as females.
  • Now the Ministry of Environment is investigating new egg scanning technology
  • It will prevent newborns from being killed by detecting the sex of an unhatched chick

Going to work with an egg could feel more guilt – as the government considers banning the mass slaughter of newborn male chicks.

Millions are killed because they cannot lay eggs. They are also undesirable for meat because their paws and breasts do not grow as fast as females.

Now the Environment Ministry is investigating new egg scanning technology that will prevent newborns from being killed by detecting the sex of an unhatched chick.

France this week announced, together with Germany, that it would ban the slaughter of day-old chicks from 2022 by ensuring that breeders use the scanners.

Millions are killed because they cannot lay eggs.  They are also undesirable for meat because their legs and breasts do not grow as fast as females (file photo)

Millions are killed because they cannot lay eggs. They are also undesirable for meat because their legs and breasts do not grow as fast as females (file photo)

Now the Environment Ministry is investigating new egg scanning technology that will prevent newborns from being killed by detecting the sex of an unhatched chick (pictured)

Now the Environment Ministry is investigating new egg scanning technology that will prevent newborns from being killed by detecting the sex of an unhatched chick (pictured)

A spokesperson for Defra said: ‘We are aware that alternatives to culling male chicks are being explored in some countries and we will review them as soon as they are introduced.’

However, Defra said there were concerns that the technology would not ‘scale up’ for the entire UK industry.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: ‘In the UK, these dead chicks are used as a food source for birds of prey, exotic pets and other captive wildlife.

‘That is why it must be carefully considered whether there are any unintended consequences of using such technology, for example that any shortages are not replaced by importing chicks from other countries.’

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