Since yesterday, January 1, 2022, male chicks are no longer allowed to be killed in Germany and from 2024 sex determination in the egg is no longer allowed on or after the 7th day. Just before the New Year, the President of the Federal Egg Union, Henner Schönecke, heralded the emergency bell. According to him, this will mean the downfall of German egg farmers. One of Schönecke’s hot spots is the tightening ban on determining the sex of chicks from 2024 only before the 7th day. The federal government has decided this because the embryo can feel pain after the 6th day. Because the currently available techniques, such as those of the Dutch companies HatchTech in In OvoBeing able to do the sexing on the 9th day at this point is not a solution, says Schönecke: “No hatchery is going to invest millions in a system that may not be used after 2024.”
It seemed that animal welfare and the economy could go hand in hand and prevent companies from moving abroad
‘Market for processed German eggs has already collapsed’
He therefore calls on politicians to suspend the ban on sex determination after the 6th day by 2024. Currently, only one hatchery uses the technology to determine the sex in the hatching egg, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine. Others probably use creative accounting in the way we described earlier. Schönecke says that if the tightening of the law does not go off the table, first the laying hen industry and then the egg production will move abroad, where chick killing is (still) allowed. The market for processed eggs – in cakes, biscuits and pasta, for example – is already collapsing, according to the chairman: those eggs are already cheaper imported from abroad.
But the German animal protection organization is also not satisfied and say that the ban on sex determination in the egg after the 6th day should have been in place long ago. However, most consumers are unaware that pain-sensitive embryos or even chicks will be killed until 2024, even for eggs already being marketed with the claim “no chick-killing” – writes Der Spiegel.
It is estimated that approximately 25% of the approximately 37 million laying hens that come into production each year in Germany come from Dutch chick breeders
Because, in addition to the egg farmers, the retail and food industry were also involved in the switch by indicating that they would only use eggs without chick-killing, it seemed that animal welfare and the economy could go hand in hand and companies could be prevented from moving abroad.
Silence in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands it is now remarkably quiet on this subject. Yet more than 80% of our egg exports go to Germany. You would expect that the changes in German policy will also affect our exporters. Rabobank is also entering a fairly recent analytical process article not a word about the changing market in the most important sales area for Dutch eggs, where more than half of the Dutch production goes: Germany. Trade magazine only poultry web calculates that raising laying hens doubles the cost of laying hens, but after reading this article we still do not know how Dutch poultry farmers deal with this.
It is estimated that approximately 25% of the approximately 37 million laying hens that come into production each year in Germany come from Dutch chick hatcheries.
We wish to thank the author of this article for this awesome material
German egg sector fears collapse due to ban on killing day-old chicks – ‘Ohne Kükentöten’ too soon for farmers, too late for animal protectionists – Foodlog