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article imageDay-old male chicks given reprieve from shredder in German state

By Anne Sewell     Sep 27, 2013 in World
Day-old male chicks are normally headed for the shredder shortly after they hatch, as industrial agriculture has no use for them. However, the state of North-Rhine Westphalia has passed a decree banning this practice and the chicks will live.
Normally the male chicks are thrown into the shredder, as they are not deemed to be suitable for meat production and cannot lay eggs.
Many activists have in the past been fighting the cruel practice of throwing the chicks, still alive, into the shredding machines.
Now the whole process is likely to change, at least in North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) in Germany.
A spokeswoman for the NRW environment ministry told The Local:
"We are expecting a legal challenge, but would stand by our argument that it is unnecessary killing, and as such, outlawed by animal welfare laws."
WAZ (in German) reported that Consumer Affairs Minister, Johannes Remmel said on Thursday:
"This practice is absolutely cruel to the creatures, who are treated as waste products of agriculture."
However, the ministry spokeswoman did say that in a year's time, farmers in the state will have to feed the male chicks until they are suitable for slaughter.
The matter arose due to a case against a small hatchery in M√ľnster, where the prosecutor said killing the male chicks broke animal protection laws, as there was no reasonable grounds to do so.
Taz,de reported in German that under European law, chicks can be shredded or gassed. However a spokeswoman for the consumer affairs ministry said the state prosecutor believed this was not legitimate.
From now on the process of shredding the male chicks is banned in the region.
To get an idea of how brutal the process actually is, the video below was made in the Hy-Line International hatchery in Spencer, Iowa - WARNING, not for the faint-hearted:
More about Germany, male chicks, Shredder, Reprieve, NRW
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