Animal health and welfare are critical cornerstones of ethical food production. In addition to doing its utmost to meet all statutory requirements and regulations, HKScan also adheres to its own strict internal policy, which states that all livestock must be treated humanely and in compliance with animal welfare regulations.

“There are clear EU Directives related to the handling of unviable chicks and unhatched embryos in hatcheries. The Estonian media has presented unfortunate evidence of certain deviations from the norm in our hatchery operations. The deviations are is unacceptable” says Anne Mere, EVP Baltics at HKScan Corporation.

“It is good that these nonconformities have been identified. We view them with the utmost gravity and will work together with our management and employees as well as with the Estonian authorities to prevent anything similar from recurring” Mere says.

“We sincerely apologize for this case, which is in sharp contrast to our principles,” states Mere. “It is our obligation to ensure unviable chicks are being culled with undue delay, even if the equipment does not work properly. Hence, we will make every effort to raise the awareness of both employees and managers that they adhere to our guidelines.”

Although the media did share correct facts concerning deviations in hatchery process in Estonia, there have also been some unfortunate misunderstandings in the information reported about broiler breeding. HKScan’s hatchery breeds both female and male birds; no birds are removed solely based on gender. Only single unviable chicks are being removed.


For further information:

  • Anne Mere, EVP Baltics, HKScan Corporation
  • Pia Nybäck, VP Animal Sourcing & Primary Production, HKScan Corporation

Kindly submit a call-back request via Marja-Leena Dahlskog, VP Communications, HKScan Corporation, tel: +358 10 570 2142.

HKScan is the leading Nordic food company. We sell, market and produce high-quality, responsibly-produced pork, beef, poultry and lamb products, processed meats and convenience foods under strong brand names. Our customers are the retail, food service, industrial and export sectors, and our home markets comprise Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Baltics. We export to close to 50 countries. In 2016, HKScan had net sales of nearly EUR 1.9 billion and some 7 300 employees.