Skip to main content

Poultry: Animal Welfare

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 43097, tabled on 18 July 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to ban the culling of chicks in the poultry industry.

Answered on

21 July 2016

The alternatives to culling chicks at one-day old are currently being explored. Research is well underway at the University of Leipzig in Germany, who are developing a new method for in-ovo gender identification, so that eggs identified as male can be sorted and used for purposes other than hatching. I also raised this issue at the G7 in Japan in April, and gave my support to the development of this new technology. We will look carefully at the results of this work and how it can be applied.

In the UK, all four of the laying hen hatcheries use argon and CO2 gas techniques as a method of euthanising chicks and not maceration.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.