This afternoon Eyes on Animals was in The Hague at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.
We met with the Minister of Agriculture (Piet Adema) and the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment (Karien van Gennip).
Other participants were people from the meat industry, trade unions and employment agencies.
We exchanged ideas for possible solutions regarding the welfare of migrant workers in slaughterhouses.
As an animal welfare NGO, we were invited because the problems of migrant workers (may) affect animal welfare.
We emphasized the importance of animal welfare training (in their native language) before employees start working. The quality of that training should be of good quality as well, both theoretical and practical. Also, migrant workers in slaughterhouses should be paid higher wages because the nature of their work is demanding, both physical as well as psychological. Right now, they receive minimum wage. Furthermore, we believe that these migrant workers deserve good and safe housing.
It is known that there is a relationship between mental health and being valued as a human being and how people treat other people and animals. So, it is particularly important that employees, who work with live animals in a slaughterhouse, feel valued and respected. Otherwise, there is a chance that their undesirable living conditions could lead to inferior treatment of already vulnerable animals. This consultation should lead to concrete steps and we will meet again in the near future to discuss progress.