United Egg Producers updated statement on male chick culling

January 29, 2020

Atlanta, Georgia, January 29, 2020: The below statement can be attributed in its entirety to Chad Gregory, President and CEO, United Egg Producers:

“As representatives of about 90 percent of egg production in the United States, United Egg Producers (UEP) and our farmer-members remain fully committed to identifying and implementing practices that improve the welfare of animals across our supply chain.

“In 2016, UEP’s Board called for the elimination in the laying industry of day-old male chick culling after hatch. Since that time, our members have supported and strongly advocated for the research of methods and the adoption of new technologies that would eliminate the practice of male chick culling at hatcheries – this is a priority and is the right thing to do.

“UEP also engaged with The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) in advancing the organization’s Egg-Tech Prize, which would provide up to $6 million to researchers developing technologies that can accurately and quickly determine the sex of layer chick eggs before they hatch.

“The nation’s egg producers recognize their obligation to working with our chick suppliers and business partners to find an economically feasible, commercially viable alternative to the practice of male chick culling at hatcheries. As such, we have embraced our drive toward the goal of eliminating this practice as soon as it is commercially viable and economically feasible.

“Identifying gender in-ovo is scientifically complex and a technologically challenging issue, with millions of dollars already spent by stakeholders to develop a solution. We are aware from their regular reporting to egg industry leaders worldwide a workable, scalable solution is not yet available.

“This is disappointing, and we are hopeful a breakthrough is on the horizon. We will continue our engagement with stakeholders and active support of this goal.”

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CONTACT:          Hinda Mitchell, 614.537.8926

About UEP

United Egg Producers (UEP) is a cooperative of U.S. egg farmers working collaboratively to address legislative, regulatory and advocacy issues impacting the industry through active farmer-member leadership, a unified voice and partnership across the agriculture community. UEP’s farmer-members work to provide for the health and well-being of their birds; to produce safe, nutritious, high-quality eggs; and to manage their farms responsibly with best on-farm management practices. Leadership of and participation in the UEP Certified program by the vast majority of egg producers further demonstrates a broad commitment to the care of egg-laying hens. UEP also manages the national Egg Safety Center, a leading resource for consumer and industry information on the safe production of eggs and prevention of disease. Formed in 1968, UEP members represent about 90 percent of US egg production.