May 22, 2022

The grinding of male chicks is now prohibited in France, with an adaptation period granted to the sector

The government is giving hatcheries until the end of 2022 to change their practices.

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The elimination of male chicks at birth in the laying hen sector is now prohibited by the government, according to a decree published on Sunday February 6 in the Official Journal. This measure, demanded in particular by animal rights associations, had been expected for several years in France, the leading egg producer in Europe. The government, however, gives French hatcheries until the end of 2022 to change their practices.

Five hatcheries specializing in the supply of laying hens to breeders are concerned. Some have started to install machines to determine the sex of embryos in the egg (ovosexing) – and thus to eliminate the males before hatching. Operators will therefore have to justify “compliance with the implementation of the ban (…) by installing equipment to determine the sex of the embryo no later than the fifteenth day of incubation, or by any other means providing equivalent guarantees”, according to the decree. According to the text, which provides for a fine for offenders, hatcheries have until March 1 to show that they have indeed ordered ovosexing equipment.