BERLIN -- Switzerland is banning the practice of "shredding" newly hatched male chicks, citing progress in techniques to determine chicks' gender in the egg.
The government decided Wednesday that the ban will take effect Jan. 1.
It said that, in recent years, the practice of putting live chicks through a lethal "mechanical procedure" has been used by relatively few hatcheries.
Killing them by using carbon dioxide will still be allowed.
The government said that methods to determine chicks' gender in the egg are not yet widely available but several companies and universities are working hard to develop a "commercial method."