Update Day old chicks

Netherlands takes decision:

We have received an update regarding the possible ban on day-old chicks which we would like to share with you. This update shares information from the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality's letter to the Lower House.

Last year, the Steering Group on Day-old Chicks consisting of representatives from the industry and the Animal Protection Society, with LNV as chairman, considered this issue. We too contributed to this report as the main player in marketing day-old chicks as high-quality animal feed. The steering group has now commissioned two reports. One on the ethical aspects and one on the technical aspects relevant in the killing of day-old chicks. These reports have been presented to the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.

These reports show that it is certainly possible to achieve a reduction in the number of roosters killed and show the ways to achieve this. At the same time, these reports also highlight the complexity of the issue. For example, the technical report highlights undesirable consequences that may arise from the imposition of a ban, for example through the relocation of chick farms and breeding farms abroad, the transport and rearing of roosters to Eastern Europe or the emergence of mouse farms as substitute "feed animals". Further development of the in-ovo technique is also needed so that sex determination can take place earlier and with the lowest possible error margins.

The steering group therefore recommends not imposing a ban at this time, but first focusing on other methods with the aim of reducing the number of day-old chicks to be killed and removing the obstacles mentioned in the report. This advice is adopted by the minister.

In order to set an achievable target, the sector parties will work on a plan of action over the next six months. At the same time, the ministry will work on draft regulations.

At the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 17 October, a number of countries, led by France and Germany, called on the European Commission to include a ban on the killing of day-old roosters in the proposals for the new EU review expected in late 2023. The Netherlands expressed support for this call during the Council, with additional - as did a number of other member states - the urgent call to be mindful of the potential negative side effects that may arise, such as the relocation of chick hatcheries to third countries.

As Kiezebrink, we are pleased that a partial ban is being pursued; it remains to be seen what exactly this will mean when the action plan is finalised. We have provided our input in the drafting of this advice and should it be necessary, we are certainly also willing to provide input in the drafting of the action plan. To continue providing you with the animal feed you need, we have established new production at various production sites in Spain and France. As Kiezebrink, we make every effort to be and remain a reliable supplier.

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