Today we dropped by, unannounced, at a small slaughterhouse in Marieville. We wanted to check on the conditions for the animals being slaughtered. We presented ourselves and our organization and were allowed in. They were not slaughtering anymore today but there were roughly 30 animals waiting in the lairage; small pigs, a bull, and goats. The lairage was well lit, had good air-quality and temperature, and the pen floors were covered in deep bedding. There was water in each pen. The animals were not crowded. We even saw the small pigs rooting and playing. Conditions inside were better than on most farms. Abattoir Noiseux has a modern restraint box from the company Riopel, with side walls that can easily be adjusted automatically (using hydraulics) to restrain smaller and larger animals. The man responsible for slaughter showed us how it worked. He also showed us their two captive bolt pistols, stored right beside the restraint box. One is a penetrating one and the other a mushroom (non-penetrating) stunner. The mushroom stunner is used for their Halal slaughter. Animals killed for Halal meat are at least stunned right after the cut is made, which is better than slaughter without any stunning at all. Although we cannot comment on the handling of the animals during slaughter, we do appreciate their transparency and open attitude. For a small plant, we are also pleased that money was spent on a modern and decent box to restrain animals upright and that the place was clean and the lairage warm with plenty of bedding.
We hope to be able to visit the plant again when slaughter takes place, to see if there is any need for improvements and if we can help.