Today, Eyes on Animals had a consultation with the sector (Central Organization for the Meat Sector (COV) and Livestock and Logistics) and the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals about animal transport at summer temperatures.
Eyes on Animals and the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals want slaughterhouses to work with a tropical schedule. This means that transport in the summer period is shifted to the cool night and morning hours. This saves the animals a lot of suffering. NVWA and KDS (who conduct inspections at the slaughterhouse) have indicated that they can adjust their work schedule accordingly, provided they know about it in time.
However, COV indicated that the personnel costs would rise significantly due to a tropical work schedule and is therefore cautious. Despite the fact that there are higher costs, slaughterhouse Van Rooi is planning to move the transport to the night during the summer. For Van Rooi, the benefits (including better animal welfare) outweigh the disadvantages (higher costs). Eyes on Animals will continue putting demands on other slaughterhouses and COV to follow this good example.
Also discussed was that VION Boxtel will implement a number of measures on the advice of Eyes on Animals to reduce heat stress this summer. They are going to purchase larger fans and whiten the road surface so that sunlight is reflected. Eyes on Animals is pleased with these measures, but thinks that far-reaching measures are needed to tackle heat stress structurally, such as a larger lairage and a tropical work schedule. Finally, we spoke about cross-ventilated livestock trucks (which have solid sides and forced ventilation), the experiences with which are very varied.