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Canada: Funding provided to prevent male chick culling

Funding to invest in innovation in Canada’s egg industry will help address key animal welfare matters.

The Canadian Government is to provide $844,000 to the Egg Farmers on Ontario to study ways to minimise waste.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay has announced that the investment will go towards assisting in the development of an electronic scan to determine the gender and fertility of eggs, helping to increase the capacity and efficiency of hatcheries.

Mr MacAulay said: “The Canadian egg industry is driving our economy and creating good jobs. The Government of Canada is produce to support the Egg Farmers of Ontario for this first-of-its-kind study that will make Canada a world leader in animal welfare.

“This investment will help pilot a solution that will be welcomed in Canada and around the world and will keep the egg industry strong and growing.”

The Canadian egg industry contributes over $1bn a year to the national economy and employs more than 17,000 people.

The current project being funded is likely to lead to the commercial adoption of the imaging technology that enables eggs to be non-invasively scanned soon after they are laid.

The funding announcement was welcomed by Canadian MP Chris Bittle (St Catherines), who said: “Animal welfare is high on the radar for consumers today. This investment will help Ontario egg farmers humanely and efficiently grow their businesses and stay competitive.”

Roger Pelissero, Egg Farmers of Canada chairman, said: “With today’s announcement, the government has taken a significant step in supporting innovation in Canada’s egg sector.

“This investment in cutting-edge research offers new technology and processes that will help continuously improve and strengthen the entire egg supply chain – in Canada and around the world.”

The project is supported by the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Programme, a funding initiative that helps the farming sector remain competitive.

Two years ago there were hopes that Canadian technology could end male chick culling across the egg industry but commercialisation has been difficult to achieve in spite of interest in the technology across Europe and north America.

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