Sunday, December 06, 2020

Hatcheries slow to implement embryo identification


Chicken egg hatcheries in Australia have not yet implemented systems which eliminate the practise of euthanising day old male chicks – even though the technology has been available since 2016. As well as solving an animal welfare issue which has plagued the industry, it will lead to significant cost savings.

Trade body, Egg Farmers of Ontario patented a process which it says can determine the sex of a chick before incubation.

General manager, Harry Pelissero, said since 2016, machinery manufacturers had a prototype candling device that can sex eggs in a hatchery.

They found a way to analyze within seconds the chemical makeup of gases leaking from the pores of an egg to determine the sex of the embryo inside.

Scientist at Leipzig Unversity have also developed an embryo identification system.

Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud said the Government was co-funding research by Australian Eggs “to explore the use of laser spectroscopy to distinguish between male and female fertile eggs”. Victoria's agriculture Minister, Jaclyn Symes said "The government has committed to modernising Victoria's animal welfare laws to improve the safeguarding of animal welfare and enable a more effective response when people mistreat animals. In line with the recommendations of the Activism Inquiry, the work to develop subordinate legislation for the new Act will include consideration of alternative practices in the treatment and management of male chicks in the egg industry."

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