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Parliamentary questions
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12 May 2016
Question for written answer E-003953-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Ban on the shredding and killing of chicks
 Answer in writing 

Last Friday, Luxembourgian Minister Fernand Etgen (Agriculture and Consumer Protection) made a legislative proposal to ban the shredding of male chicks shortly after hatching. Each year, more than 360 million day-old male chicks are shredded live or gassed in Europe because they cannot lay eggs. This proposal is part of a broader plan to make considerable improvements to animal welfare laws in Luxembourg, which will also include a ban on the keeping of animals for fur production.

1. What possibilities does the Commission see to follow the example of Luxembourg by introducing improved animal welfare legislation throughout the EU?

2. To what extent is the Commission prepared to ban the killing of day-old male chicks and encourage the prenatal screening of eggs by boosting the development of in-ovo screening methods?

3. The suffering of hundreds of millions of day-old male chicks can be prevented in the short term by banning the killing of these chicks and making the pre-natal sexing of chicken eggs compulsory. But a structural improvement of the welfare of animals in the egg industry can only be brought about by a drastic reform and down-scaling of the laying hen sector. In what way and timescale will the Commission do this?

Original language of question: NL 
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