Germany’s REWE Group is moving forward with its plan to withdraw products that are linked to the culling of male chicks.
The chain has outlined a number of alternatives to the practice that do not involve the unnecessary culling of millions of male chicks.
The German government has brought in a regulation that will ban the practice of culling male chicks from 2022, and REWE has called for the introduction of alternatives in the European food trade.
Methods such as determining the sex of hatching eggs should be available by this point, the retailer hopes.
German Federal Agriculture Minister, Julia Klöckner, said, "By promoting alternatives worth millions of euros, we are bringing animal welfare and economic efficiency together on the German soil."
Klöckner expects retailers "to follow up" with announcements outlining concrete deeds and rearranging their product range.
REWE will rely on the 'SELEGGT' procedure, which enables suppliers to determine the sex of hatching eggs.
Hans-Jürgen Moog, head of purchasing, REWE Group, said the retailer aims to ensure that its entire range of fresh eggs and own-brand egg products at REWE and Penny eliminate chick killing.
Moog has criticised the German government's approach, which currently has draft legislation in place stating that tests may only be allowed in Germany up to the sixth day of incubation, which the retailer sees as too strict for the current standards of sex determination.
The chain has called for action at an EU level to create a binding legal framework for the European economic area. Moog said, "In the worst case, German hatcheries will relocate their activities to neighbouring countries, where there is currently no legal ban on killing chicks."
The retailer has also suggested other methods of eradicating chick killing, such as its Bruderhahn projects, in which the male chicks are reared.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.