Today Eyes on Animals visited poultry slaughterhouse GPS in Nunspeet. Various animal welfare measures had been implemented.
- There was blue light in the lairage. It is known that this has a calming effect on the chickens.
- The lairage can be cooled by means of fans with a misting system.
- Outside the abattoir there is a woody area where trucks can be in the shade in hot weather. There are also fans here.
- The lairage can be heated. This happens as soon as chickens start to huddle together in the crates (sign of cold stress).
- There are cameras at various places in the slaughterhouse that allow animal welfare to be monitored.
At GPS, chickens are stunned in five stages with a gas stunning system from Anglia Autoflow (AA). To reduce stress from exposure to CO2, it is started with a low concentration that is slowly raised. An advantage of the AA system is that chickens can remain in the crates. In this way tilting and /or shackling of living animals is avoided. However, the stress caused by exposure to CO2 (about 30 seconds) cannot be completely removed.
Eyes on Animals has advised GPS to reduce the noise in the slaughterhouse. The noise level at times exceeded 80dB which is stressful for chickens. Furthermore, we have not been able to view the stunning ourselves – we were therefore unable to give advice on this. Hopefully we will get the opportunity to view the stunning better at a follow up visit.