Funding set to support early scanning of eggs for gender, fertility


The news

Kicking off the Ontario portion of his cross-country summer tour, Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced $844,000 for Egg Farmers of Ontario at a farm in St. Ann’s on Tuesday. The funds will be used to assist in the development of an electronic scan to determine the gender and fertility of eggs, minimizing waste and addressing an animal welfare issue.

At issue

Knowing whether an egg is fertile or not earlier helps hatcheries maximize efficiency by minimizing space and energy used for eggs that will never hatch.

The egg laying industry has also come under fire for its need for female-only chicks. Sorting currently happens after the chicks are hatched — a long lead time before determining whether the chicks will fill demand or not.

This project is likely to lead to the commercial adoption of the imaging technology that enables eggs to be non-invasively scanned soon after they are laid, the government says.

This project is supported by the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a funding initiative that helps the farming sector to remain competitive by piloting solutions to new and ongoing challenges.


“The Canadian egg industry is driving our economy and creating good jobs. The Government of Canada is proud to support the Egg Farmers of Ontario for this first-of-its-kind study that will make Canada a world leader in animal welfare. This investment will help pilot a solution that will be welcomed both in Canada and around the world and will keep the egg industry strong and growing.” — Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay

“Animal welfare is high on the radar for consumers today.  This investment will help Ontario egg farmers humanely and efficiently grow their businesses and stay competitive.” — Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines

“With today’s announcement, the government has taken a significant step in supporting innovation in Canada’s egg sector. This investment in cutting-edge research offers new technology and processes that will help continuously improve and strengthen the entire egg supply chain—in Canada and around the world.” — Roger Pelissero, Chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada

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