Eyes on Animals set up cameras in several commercial slaughterhouses in Europe to show their behaviour when they were transported down into high concentrations of CO2. The purpose of the film was to start a discussion on CO2 and electric stunning and question if it was not time for a brand new, more humane alternative. It seemed everyone had an opinion about CO2 being more humane…but in reality very few people had even seen the pigs in CO2. Even Tesco in the UK was forcing their suppliers to switch to a CO2 system on the principle that it was more humane, which we found was not-well founded.
Therefore in January 2014 we received official permission from the slaughterhouses to make our film public. (Please see: HERE).
This film attracted the attention of numerous animal scientists and manufacturers of slaughter equipment. People that EonA has been in contact with since to get some research started on new, more humane alternatives. It also attracted the attention of many animal-welfare campaign organizations such as AWF/TSB and Eurogroup, and also the Dutch Political Party for Animals and the European Members of Parliament, the latter of which invited us to speak at their InterGroup meeting: (please see: HERE ).
What resulted was a respectful but thorough public discussion on pig slaughter and most people, even among the meat industry, agreed: it was time for a brand new stunning method. CO2 gas causes pigs to panic, as they sense they are not getting any air. They try to escape the environment, shaking their heads and struggling at times very violently. CO2 also burns the mucous membranes of the throat and nose.
The good news today is that the Dutch House of Representatives has accepted a motion to phase out the use of CO2 to stun pigs during slaughter! The motion still has to be passed by the senate but things are looking very promising. We feel strongly that this decision will lead to positive and necessary steps- such as more money being made available by the government and industry for research into alternative stunning systems, priority to conduct this research will step up a notch meaning results faster, and then of course billions of pigs in the future will at least be slaughtered in a way that causes much less panic and stress.