In 2019, Eyes on Animals, together with the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals, wrote 10 action points slaughterhouses could do to reduce heatstress for animals on board arriving trucks. Recently we prepared a new report about the current state of affairs. Conclusion: although the slaughter and transport industry made some improvements, the biggest cause of heatstress – the lack of lairage and unloading capacity at the slaughterhouses – remains unsolved.
Every summer Eyes on Animals continues to see dozens of animal trucks waiting in front of slaughterhouses as there is no room yet to unload the animals. In stationary trucks the heat and humidity builds up extremely fast. There is no air flow, no active cooling of the air and no water. The trucks are crowded and animals have nowhere to go. Sometimes trucks are even parked in the full sun. The consequence: animals suffer tremendously from heatstress or even die.
Although some slaughterhouses have improved the parking areas for trucks, long waiting times are still common practice. It is time for mandatory legal requirements. The organizations call for a maximum waiting time of 15 minutes, active ventilation and lower densities for all livestock trucks when temperatures are 21°C or higher.
Eyes on Animals also developed a Heatstress Benchmark, that evaluates slaughterhouses by their waiting times and the steps they took to reduce heatstress.
Read the evaluation of Dutch slaughterhouses here (only in Dutch) >>
Read our joint press-release here (only in Dutch) >>