LAST week the German minister of agriculture announced that a method had been perfected to identify the sex of embryos in fertilised hens’ eggs and to eliminate the male embryos at a stage when they would feel no pain. This would end the practice, to be illegal by 2017, whereby tens of millions of day-old male chicks are killed annually, being “useless” to the egg and poultry industry, by gas, electrocution, live maceration or slow suffocation, methods currently carried out worldwide.
Until now this has been the egg and poultry industry’s darkest secret, little known to the general public in its grisly details and extent (40 million annually in the UK alone). This may account for the scant attention in the media to this huge victory for animal welfare (or lack of concern for the sanctity of life below a certain size). Germany will be the first country in the world to enshrine in law this right to live to newborn life. We must insist on as much from our own legislators.
Let this Easter be the last where eggs equal extermination for so many sentient beings.
New Skinners’ Close