US poultry body seeks alternative killing methods

By Chloe Ryan

- Last updated on GMT

Concerns over animal cruelty have led to a call for new methods of killing chicks
Concerns over animal cruelty have led to a call for new methods of killing chicks

Related tags Livestock Poultry

The USPOULTRY Board Research Initiative is requesting proposals on alternative humane ways of killing recently hatched chicks and poults that cannot be used commercially. 

Concerns by some retailers, animal rights groups, the public and governments about current practices, which involve gassing then macerating unwanted chicks and poults, have led the industry to seek other suggestions.

“Chicks and poults that will not be used must be humanely euthanized on a timely basis,”​ said the US Poultry and Egg Association (USPOULTRY). “Various euthanasia methods have been developed for hatchery use with maceration, gas euthanasia or a combination of the two systems being the most common. Despite the current national and international approval of these two primary methods for chick euthanasia, the perspective and humaneness of these methods has been questioned by some.”

The organisation added that research was needed to objectively evaluate these methods and to develop new and novel alternative methods for humane euthanasia of recently hatched poultry. Other countries, including the UK have banned chick maceration, and instead kill unwanted chicks with argon gas.

Organisations interested in contributing can go to​, and click on ‘Research’ for complete instructions and deadlines. The deadline for pre-proposal submission is 6 November.
The USPOULTRY Board Research Initiative was created by the Boards of USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation to address current issues facing the poultry industry.

Related topics Meat

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