An EonA/AWF team, joined by a professor from Istanbul Veterinarian University Faculty, attempted to meet with the owner of Aygüler slaughterhouse in Kazan this morning to see what improvements had been put in place since our last visit. In December we had visited this plant and conditions were very problematic – the floor was slippery and cattle were repeatedly falling down, cattle were being electric prodded repeatedly and on genitals, bulls of 900kg were being hoisted completely off the floor by one leg and left hanging and screaming like this for 2 minutes, and a butcher was observed stabbing 4-5 times at the neck of the hanging bulls to cut their throat open. We sent our report with some suggestions for improvements to the owner of this plant and informed him that it would be also sent to the Ministry of Agriculture. We promised to not yet to go to the media or to his biggest clients in the hope that we could make welfare improvements together.
In February we finally received a reply from the slaughterhouse saying that they will work on our suggestions and we are invited to come back in March. Upon showing up this morning however, the owner was furious and refused to let us in or to talk to us. He accused us of reporting negative things about his slaughterhouse. An official veterinarian from the government came to the scene to assist us but even then the owner refused us. The veterinarian who works full-time in the slaughterhouse is hired by the owner of the plant, so through this channel we also have no chance at helping the animals or improving the equipment inside the plant as he must do what his boss tells him. We are very afraid that the animals continue to suffer unnecessarily inside this plant and that nothing has changed. We wanted to be strict but still open and diplomatic with this plant, but shutting the door on all dialogue with us now and not making improvements to welfare means we have no other choice but to consider other actions. Unfortunately Turkey does not yet have national animal-protection legislation during slaughter and thus even the government veterinarians have their hands tied. Turkey however is a member of the OIE and what happens inside this plant breaks almost all OIE rules. We hope the owner will re-consider his decision and realize that working with us to help animal-welfare will be easier and better for his business and reputation than not doing so.