Switzerland has also now joined France and Germany in its decision to ban the practice of shredding male chicks. Commercial egg farms around the world find male chicks unproductive as they cannot lay eggs. Instead, they are disposed of by the controversial practice of shredding.
The ban was introduced in late 2019 and is reported by AP to be in effect from January 2020. The move has come as an attempt to move towards the method of determining the chick’s gender in the egg itself. While the Swiss government has banned mechanical shredding and grinding, killing chicks by carbon dioxide is still allowed.
The government has added that methods to determine chicks’ gender in the egg are yet to be widely available. Several companies and universities are working hard to invent a “commercial method” for this.
Back in 2019 when the government announced the ban many NGOs had praised Switzerland for being a pioneer on animal rights issues compared to European Union member countries. The country also is testing out the possibilities of having farmers rearing all the male chicks for poultry meat production.
Killing these chicks using shredding hs been widely been accused as an inhuman and barbaric practice. As most often they are killed without the use of any anaesthetics. Other methods used by the industry for killing include cervical dislocation or asphyxiation by carbon dioxide. Animal rights enthusiasts hope that one day more countries will decide to put a ban on this practise and switch to more humane methods.