United Egg Producers Updated Statement on Male Chicks

March 25, 2021

Atlanta, Georgia, March 25, 2021: 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 to end 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.

“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 that limited-scale methods have been adopted in France and Germany, and we are encouraged by the progress that has been made through the firm commitment of many researchers. However, regular reporting to egg industry leaders worldwide indicates that a method that meets the food safety, ethical standards and scalable solutions needed for the United States is not yet available.”

“U.S. egg farmers will continue to work with our chick suppliers and business partners to find an ethical, economically feasible alternative to the practice of male chick culling at hatcheries. We believe this goal is achievable with time and research, and we will do our part to reach it.

“We remain hopeful a breakthrough is on the horizon. We will continue our engagement with stakeholders and active support of this goal.”