Today the EonA/AWF team dropped by Cemit slaughterhouse in Bursa-Cali to discuss with them how to improve welfare in their slaughterhouse.
At this plant the floor of the unloading ramp is stepp and wide and ends reltively quickly in a sharp 90 degree left turn into a very narrow raceway. The floor of the paddocks and raceway has potholes and there is absolutely no restraint system used for the cattle and sheep prior to making the Ritual cut.
The bovines are brought into a small room, one at a time, where previously slaughtered bovines are hanging right in front of them and there are many workers standing around. The floor is slippery and covered in blood. Here the animal has a chain placed around its leg which is then pulled, forcing the bovine to lose its balanced and fall down onto the concrete floor.
The bovine is then hoisted by one leg upwards and the throat is cut. The sheep are grabbed by a back leg, chained and hoisted upwards a rail that runs several feet to where the slaughterer then cuts their throat.
As the process of hoisting by one leg is extremely painful, plus there are many techniques one can use to reduce stress during lairaging and movement towards the kill area, we wanted to have a thorough and open discussion with the plant manager and veterinarian about taking steps now to reduce suffering.
The plant manager told us that due to new slaughterhouse legislation coming into force in Turkey on January 1st 2014, they will soon close their plant down and rebuild a brand new one. We asked them if they are getting any advice on how to design the new one, to avoid that the same mistakes are built. He said the Ministry of Agriculture has sent them criteria to follow in order to conform to the new legislation but does not explain why it must be so. For that reason, corners may be cut when slaughterhouse managers do not understand why they have to invest time or money into something they think is unnecessary.
When we meet with the Ministry of Agriculture next week, we will bring this point up. We showed them the designs of Dr. Temple Grandito reduce risk of injury and panic, explained how to use animal behaviour to have gentle handling, and showed him equipment from the company V-Cons in Belgium, that is just one of several that produces various types of restraint and raceway equipment according to better welfare standards.
We will stay in touch and send him the latest animal behaviour and scientific information plus concrete examples of how other plants have managed to reduce suffering.