By the year 2022, France will outlaw the shredding and gassing of male chicks in the poultry industry.
The news was announced by Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie following years of protests from animal welfare activists.
As male chicks are unable to lay eggs or grow to substantial enough sizes, they are typically culled by either being shredded or gassed with carbon dioxide.
As there are no practical or affordable ways to determine the gender of a chicken before it hatches from an egg, an EU directive from 2009 permitted the use of shredding once it caused immediate death for chicks less than 72 hours old.
From January 1st 2022, all poultry hatcheries will be required to install or order equipment that allows them to determine the chick’s gender while inside the egg.
The culling methods, which kill approximately 50 million chicks each year, will also be banned in Germany in January.
The practice of shredding chicks was banned in Switzerland last year but gassing is still used as a culling method.
The state will provide a financial aid package of €10 million to help farmers buy the necessary equipment before the law comes into effect by 2022.