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Issues - My policy positions | Live chick shredding

Issues - My policy positions

Live chick shredding

I have written to the Minister at DEFRA regarding the issue of live-shredding of chicks, which France has just moved to ban - a move that I hope is replicated here.

Some 7billion male chicks are culled around the world every year, as they are deemed worthless for meat or egg production.

It is claimed that many are ground up alive, others are gassed, electrocuted, or asphyxiated in plastic bags.

This is a barbaric and cruel practice.

I have asked to what extent these practices take place in the UK, and what steps the Government is taking to ban such practices.

It is not only imperative that live shredding is stopped across these islands, but also that we invest in research and technologies to ensure it does not happen again in the future.

Researchers have been working on devising a viable method that would allow farmers to determine the gender of a chicken embryo in the egg before it hatched, and thus avoid shredding male chicks.

Such science does exist, though it does not work on an industrial scale yet. It is crucial we give researchers the tools they need to develop devices that would work on a large scale, and therefore prevent shredding.

I hope the Government are able to confirm the extent of live shredding in UK agriculture, and what steps are being taken to stop it.

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