Would you prefer to eat genetically modified eggs, or see day-old chicks destroyed?

World egg production industries rely on a single sex only (female), with the males generally disposed of by carbon dioxide gassing or rapid maceration one or two days post-hatch. Males of layer breeds cannot be raised for meat because it is not economically sound to do so, hence their “hatch and dispatch”.

This is both an economic and serious ethical problem, and there are currently no commercially useful methods for sexing chicks within the egg before they hatch and become sentient. It is less of a welfare issue since disposal is thought to be humane in most cases (with death being instantaneous), even though the methods seem abhorrent to many.

To solve this problem, my team and I are developing a genetically modified (GM) line of chicken. If this can be achieved, it is likely that the sex of chicks within the egg could be determined by simply scanning the eggs with a laser and detecting fluorescence in female embryos and its absence in males.

Read the full, original article: Would you prefer to eat genetically modified eggs, or see day-old chicks destroyed? 

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