This is good news for chicks from the egg industry – but not for ducklings. A decree published on Sunday February 6, 2022 puts an end to the elimination of male chicks born in the laying hen sector. Hatcheries specializing in the supply of laying hens to French breeders therefore have until the end of 2022 to stop this practice.
Why is this progress?
France is the leading egg producer in Europe with approximately 50 million male chicks killed each year in the country. In the egg industry, males are undesirables: they do not lay eggs and have not been genetically selected to produce an excessive amount of meat, so they are deemed useless and are simply killed at birth.
The chicks are usually thrown in the trash and die there of suffocation, carbon dioxide asphyxiation, or thrown alive into a grinder. French hatcheries will now have to use the technique of "in ovo sexing" to determine the sex of the bird in the egg and to eliminate the males before hatching.
Nothing is planned for ducklings born in the foie gras sector
The same process is at work in the foie gras industry, except this time it is the female ducklings that are culled at birth because their livers are smaller. Each year, approximately 30 million ducks and geese are force-fed in our country for foie gras; so many ducklings and goslings are “eliminated” at the start of the production chain. The new law does nothing for these millions of innocent victims.
Ducklings suffer just as much as chicks in the food industry, and none should die for our selfish pleasure. Many species-based biases lead us to view nonhuman animals—which have their own wants, needs, and complex lives—as means to human ends. This speciesism perpetuates serious prejudices or discriminations against which we must rise up.
Despite some popular misconceptions, eating eggs is as cruel as eating meat because although laying hens are not executed immediately, half of the chicks born in the egg industry are killed shortly after birth – and the other half will end up in the slaughterhouse after a short and miserable life .
The best thing you can do for hens, ducks and their young is to stop eating them and start consuming eggs. There are many ways to replace eggs in the kitchen .