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Urgent need for unwanted male chick research

News Section Icon Published 04/11/2010

Vegetarian organisation Viva! have released an undercover investigation on 'unwanted' male chicks from 2 UK egg hatcheries.

The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The Independent featured Viva's investigation and has brought the cruelty of intensive farming to the public.

Due to vast intensification of egg laying hens, males are perceived in the food industry as a waste product.

Due to years of selective breeding, hens are produced solely for egg production as males grow too slowly for meat production.

Compassion work tirelessly for food without cruelty and to find solutions to the problems caused by factory farming.

Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive of Compassion has released the following statement.

"The killing of male chicks of the egg laying strain is a huge waste of life and a woeful consequence of the over-specialisation between meat and egg laying strains of chicken. This is an example of specialist breeds taken to their extreme in factory farming.

"Similar problems of over-specialisation of breeds can be seen with high producing dairy cows where male dairy calves have historically been shot at birth or exported live. By working with the farming industry, we have been helping to create better solutions whereby the calves are reared humanely, rather than being killed at birth or subject to live exports. Similar initiatives are needed to find solutions to other seemingly insoluble problems that have serious consequences for the welfare of the animals concerned.

"There is an urgent need for research to find a solution to 'unwanted' male chicks, including the feasibility of sex selection at the egg stage. We are calling on concerned citizens to support our call to Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to instigate this work."

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