The livestock industry, animal trading and transport goes beyond national borders. That is why Eyes on Animals has assembled a Taskforce of international inspectors from animal welfare organizations in other countries.
We share our results, reports, scientific knowledge, field experience, and ideas with each other. By pooling our resources and learning from one another, the animals have a stronger and more professional “team” watching out over them.
Taskforce members regularly meet to discuss and compare animal-welfare problems observed in the field in their countries. Improvements made in one country, are then presented. This way, we can spread positive steps taken in one country to reduce suffering, to those working in other countries that are lagging behind. This speeds up animal welfare improvements and prevents each organization from having to “re-invent the wheel”.Individual inspectors from the following organizations are actively part of the Taskforce:
- Austria: Vier Pfoten (www.vierpfoten.at)
- France: L214 (www.l214.com)
- Canada: CETFA (www.cetfa.com) and CCFA (www.humanefood.ca)
- The Netherlands: Varkens in Nood (www.varkensinnood.nl)
- South Korea: KARA (www.animalrightskorea.org)
- Germany: The Animal Welfare Foundation (www.animal-welfare-foundation.org)
- Switzerland: Tierschutzbund Zurich (www.tierschutzbund-zuerich.ch)
(In 2011 we began working a lot via email with KARA -Korean Animal Rights Advocates on trying to put an end to the live burials of farm animals during the country’s outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. See our letter to the EU and our letter to the Dutch government insisting that they meet with South Korean officials to offer their expertise and send out their experts to South Korea immediately. At the same time, KARA was busy encouraging their government to meet with Dutch and EU officials to invite them over to help in the field and make the cullings more humane).Once a year the international inspectors meet in person. Sometimes we team up to do inspections in a certain country together and in between we keep each other informed via email. Some projects we are working on together:
- Improving the welfare of small animals on intensive farms in our countries.
- Phasing out of the electric water baths for poultry in our countries (which the Netherlands is already busy doing).
- Phasing out of piglet castration in our countries (which more and more Dutch and German farmers are already doing). See our common letter sent out to 21 Canadian supermarket chains and 88 federally inspected Canadian pig slaughterhouses urging them to stop castration now too.
- Putting an end to animal-cullings (after disease outbreak) being done unhumanely in countries that do not have a good plan of action or the expertise. We try to coordinate that officials from the different countries meet to agree on a plan and humane experts are sent to the field to help out.
- Raising public awareness for animal welfare problems by generating media attention. We keep several journalists and official veterinarians up-to-date of our Taskforce work.
Example: Read an article published in the Canadian newspaper The Manitoba Co-operator in reaction to our letter. Eyes on Animals urged Dutch pig industry people we know to react. Many did, and two of their fantastic “letters to the editor” were published in the Canadian newspaper.
Eyes on Animals being interviewed by Danish television about the efforts and successes made in the Netherlands to end pig castration and the need for Denmark to follow suit.
Canadian national TV joins the international taskforce inspectors to visit a Dutch pig farm that has stopped castrating their male piglets and that promotes group sow housing instead of sow stalls. To watch the documentary aired on in Canada on July 28 2010 clickhere.
Canadian, French and Austrian taskforce inspectors during our last meeting. Here we visited a Dutch slaughterhouse that played an important role in stopping the castration of piglets. In 2007 they started accepting intact boars and can test the boar meat at the plant for any residue of boar taint. This has allowed many Dutch farmers to stop castrating their male piglets. The taskforce hopes to spread this info to our other countries to quickly end pig castration also abroad as soon as possible.