On Thursday July the 25th Eyes on Animals made an unannounced visit to poultry slaughterhouse GPS in Nunspeet (NL). At the time of our visit (12:00) the outside temperature was 34,4°C in the shade and 37°C in the sun, with a relative humidity of 35%.
GPS has a wooded parking area where trucks can stand in the shade next to several large fans. However, in extreme temperatures these measures are not enough to prevent heatstress. GPS therefore decided to immediately unload the containers from the trucks upon their arrival . However, in the lairage there were many containers, causing long waiting times. Even though there were several fans, misting systems and extra mobile fans placed on the floor – we could still clearly see many birds suffering from heatstress (breathing with open beak and stretched necks). In the lairage it was 31°C with a high relative humidity of 60%. In between the rows of containers the temperatures were even higher.
We shared our observations with GPS and gave several recommendations to improve the ventilation inside their lairage. We want to thank GPS for giving us a tour despite being extremely busy because of the heatwave. GPS has informed us after that they are busy improving their lairage.