Today Eyes on Animals had a meeting with the worker’s council of the KDS (The Animal Sector Quality Inspection Foundation) about the welfare of animals and employees in extreme heat. KDS is responsible for the inspection of red meat with regards to food safety and animal welfare. They do this on behalf of the NVWA.
The works council of the KDS considers it important that animals are only brought in during the cool moments of the day to minimize heat stress during summer. “At the same time,” they state “this should not result in employees having to process carcasses in the heat of the day.” Working conditions in slaughterhouses are often very poor. “In extreme heat it is too hot in slaughterhouses. This is problematic for both the animals and employees.”
We conclude that the current production level is the bottleneck. The larger slaughterhouses run for so many hours that it is impossible to guarantee the welfare of both animals and workers. If animals
are being slaughtered between 16 and 18 hours a day, it is impossible to avoid the hottest hours of the day. Slaughterhouses will simply have to produce less to ensure that the welfare of humans and animals is not seriously harmed. Slaughterhouses must take responsibility.
The works council of the KDS also states that the current heat protocol is inadequate because it does not take into account the well-being of staff . Because of this they are busy developing their own protocol. Eyes on Animals will look at this protocol and where necessary make recommendations regarding animal welfare.