Day: June 9, 2022

EU: Join the online consultation on Sustainable EU food system.

9 June 2022


The European Commission has opened a new consultation to inform the drafting of a Framework Sustainable Food Systems law.

Due end 2023, this law will be the key piece of legislation under the Farm to Fork Strategy whose objective is the sustainable transformation of the EU’s food system.

According to the Commission, “this framework law should promote policy coherence at EU and national level, mainstream sustainability in all food-related policies and strengthen the resilience of food systems.” 

Although animal welfare is part of the Farm to Fork strategy, it is not yet fully envisaged as an integral part of a food system’s sustainability. Furthermore, the Farm to Fork strategy recognises the need to move towards a more plant-based diet. However, few concrete measures have been proposed to date. It is, therefore, important for the Commission to receive numerous responses highlighting the importance and role of animal welfare in a sustainable food future and supporting a transition towards a more plant-based diet to keep the food system within planetary boundaries.

** The consultation is available here and is open until 21 July at midnight CET. **


Sustainable development

Regards Mark

EU: EU grinds and gasses hundreds of millions of chicks and ducklings every year.

1 June 2022


18 European NGOs have formed a coalition to demand the end of the killing of chicks and ducklings. This cruel practice is currently allowed under EU law but could be prohibited as part of the revision of EU legislation on farm “animal welfare,” which is slated to take place in 2023 – 2025.

In an open letter to the Council of the EU sent on 1 June 2022, the animal advocates urge the EU Ministers of Agriculture to support a ban on the systematic gassing and grinding of male chicks and female ducklings. EU citizens can also reach out to their Agriculture Minister with prepared draft messages via a new website launched today

For every hen raised for egg production purposes, one male chick is ground or gassed. Male chicks are deemed “unproductive” for the egg industry, as they do not lay eggs, and their meat has no economic value for the meat industry. For this reason, 330 million day-old male chicks are eliminated annually. As early as a few hours after hatching, male chicks are first sorted by workers, and while female chicks are sent to lay eggs on farms, the males are killed. Tens of millions of female ducklings suffer the same fate, given that the liver of female ducks is less desirable for foie gras production, and as a result, foie gras producers only raise and force-feed male ducks.

The killing of young animals at such a massive scale remains a secretive industry practice, which explains why images are so rarely disclosed, although they are shocking. These images show the elimination of male chicks by grinding or gassing, the two killing methods allowed under EU law, with some countries preferring one method over the other.

In 2015, following the publication of images displaying the systematic killing of chicks, the French government committed to support the development of in-ovo sexing technologies, which allow the detection of the sex of chicks before they hatch. In 2020, the French government announced a ban on the killing of day-old chicks. Similarly, the German government also committed to ban this practice.

In France, hatcheries have until the end of 2022 to transition to using in-ovo sexing devices and to end the systematic killing of male chicks. To ensure producers comply with the law, hatcheries have received 10 million euros in public funding to aid in transitioning to alternative methods. The cost of this new technology is estimated to increase the retail cost of eggs by only 1 cent per egg.

There are several reasons why a ban on the systematic killing of male chicks is attainable: the societal demand in support of a ban is high, alternatives to the systematic killing of male chicks exist, and two countries have already prohibited this practice. Last but not least, the revision of the EU legislation on the “welfare of farmed animals” represents an unprecedented opportunity to ban this practice throughout the EU.

The EU is currently revising its legislation on “farm animal welfare.” This revision is paramount. The European Commission, which is tasked with proposing a new legal act in 2023, is considering the possibility of prohibiting the systematic killing of chicks in the EU. Stella Kyriakides, the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, who retains competence on the issue, said that “The killing of large numbers of day-old chicks is, of course, an ethical issue.”

Such a statement is largely supported by the results of the public consultation launched by the European Commission on the topic, as more than 94% of the almost 60,000 respondents declared they were in favor of a ban on the practice. Furthermore, these numbers resonate with public opinion, as only between 9 and 18% of citizens support grinding and gassing chicks and ducklings. 

The European Commission will propose new legislation to better regulate practices in animal agriculture; however, the Council of the EU will decide on the adoption of the reform. It is therefore crucial that each of the ministers of agriculture from all 27 Member States support this reform, to ensure it is adopted.

For this reason, 18 animal protection organisations are asking each of the ministers of agriculture from the Member States to support the efforts undertaken by France and Germany. Specifically, the organisations ask the ministers to extend the prohibition on the killing of male chicks to all of the EU, and to ensure that the new law also prohibits the killing of female ducklings, who, so far, have been unfairly excluded from these reforms.

Read more at source

Ask your Agriculture Minister to support a ban on chick & duck culling in EU law

Watch the video here: 

Regards Mark

Bulgaria: Well Done ! – Bulgaria bans the breeding and import of mink.

2 June 2022



Live mink can no longer be legally imported or bred in Bulgaria, following concerns over threats to native ecosystems and biodiversity from escaped animals.

On 1 June, the Bulgarian Minister of Environment and Water Borislav Sandov announced that he had signed the order to bring the ban into effect.

The decision was taken based on concerns over the environment and biodiversity, as the risk of American mink (Neovison vison) escaping from fur farms poses a serious threat to native species.

Conditions at the only mink farm in our country are unfavourable and are the reason that in recent years mink have escaped to enter territories of wildlife and cause damage.

Borislav Sandov, Minister of Environment and Water

The American mink is now widespread throughout the European Union and has caused significant adverse impacts on native wildlife, after individuals escaped from fur farms. 

According to the Ministry, the species is included in the list of 100 most dangerous invasive alien species in Europe and is a priority invasive alien species for Bulgaria.

We thank Minister Sandov for this really important and very useful decision for the nature of Bulgaria. This decision is based on scientific and expert data on the damage from the breeding of the species American mink. At the same time, it is a solution that will prevent huge damage to wildlife and end the suffering of millions of American minks that are bred for their fur in cruel conditions! It’s just a ban order, but it’s so important to nature and the animals.

Petya Altimirska, head of CAAI

Whilst this ban will effectively render mink farming impossible in Bulgaria, it does not cover other species commonly farmed for their fur such as foxes, chinchillas and raccoon dogs.

Our member CAAI is calling for a wider ban on the breeding and keeping of any species for the purpose of fur farming in the country. 

The European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe asks for a ban on all fur farming and the placement of farmed fur products in the European Union. 

Citizens are invited to add their signature here.

Regards Mark