The Gölhisar State Slaughterhouse is a government-operated abattoir in Gölhisar that slaughters approximately 30 cattle per week. Asalet from Eyes on Animals conducted a training this morning at the plant, teaching the workers and manager how a captive bolt stunner works and how to render animals unconscious before restraint and slaughter so that their suffering is reduced. Three bulls were first rendered unconscious with our captive bolt stunner by the newly-trained slaughterman. Each stun was successful and thus fortunately for today, the animals did not have to undergo the horrible pain of being hoisted by a chain off the floor by one leg to have their neck cut while fully alert and sentient (which is standard in Turkey). However, unfortunately, we were using a new model of captive bolt stunner from Termet and each time the cartridge shell got stuck, which meant we needed to get pliers to pull it out before being able to re-load it.
This sadly means that we need to return it to the manufacturer and get a new one and lose time. The manager and the main “ butcher” (man responsible for hoisting and killing)were very impressed at how a captive bolt stunner greatly reduced animal suffering and made working conditions safer; theywould like to use the stunner every day on all animals. The slaughterman especially doesn’t want to cause any unnecessary pain to the animals if he can avoid it. But unfortunately customers in Turkey are not well educated and stunning is still seen as a taboo there, which is why so many abattoirs like this one are obliged to slaughter animals while fully conscious.
Many people in Turkey continue to, falsely, think that stunning renders the meat no longer Halal. Once we can get a fully-functioning stunner to this abattoir the manager and butcher say that they will continue using the stunner on animals where the customer is open-minded and accepts it. Should the Turkish government send an official statement to the abattoir saying that stunning is Halal and permitted in Muslim Turkey, they will slaughter all animals in the future using the captive bolt method to first render them unconscious/insensitive to pain. Eyes on Animals is still trying to push the government to make this decision and give official permission to all abattoirs to stun animals, but it is a long-process that we sadly have not succeeded in yet.