Why Does No One in the UK Want to Do This £40,000/Year Job?
New reports this week reveal that the UK poultry industry is facing a desperate shortage of “chicken sexers” – the people paid to spend all day examining the genitalia of newborn chicks to determine whether they’re male or female.
It’s certainly not a glamorous job, but it’s what happens to the chicks who are identified as male that’s the really off-putting part.
Most of the time, the egg industry has no use for these baby boys. After all, they can’t lay eggs, and they haven’t been bred to grow and gain weight quickly as broiler chickens (who are used for meat) have.
It’s more efficient for the egg industry to dispose of these unprofitable chicks as soon as possible, rather than spending any money housing or feeding them. And that’s exactly what they do. Day-old chicks are often literally thrown away like trash – tossed into a sack or crate and left to suffocate. Or else they’re gassed to death or, most gruesome of all, thrown alive into a macerator that minces up their bodies.
Some people mistakenly believe that the egg industry doesn’t cost animals their lives. Nothing could be further from the truth. An estimated 40 million chicks a year die in this way in the UK. Their sisters are hardly more fortunate – after a few years of intensive laying, often in extremely crowded and filthy conditions, their bodies will be exhausted and they, too, will be slaughtered.
It’s no surprise that people aren’t exactly lining up for a job that involves sending thousands of these fluffy babies to their deaths every day. It also explains why more and more people are turning their backs on the industry responsible for this routine cruelty, in favour of a meat-free, egg-free plant-based diet.
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