While France and Germany have introduced bans, Britain continues to slaughter 29 million unwanted chicks every year

UK retailers are blocking moves to end the killing of millions of day-old male chicks each year, farmers and breeding companies have said.

The industrial-scale culling of unwanted chicks is common practice around the world, with 330 million males slaughtered by crushing or gassing each year in Europe, according to campaigners, 29 million of those in the UK.

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