Eyes on Animals visited the Flanders cattle slaughterhouse of Flanders Meat Group in Zele, Belgium, at the invitation of the veterinarian. We encountered some problems that could be improved. The veterinarian himself also had some ideas and so we were able to combine our findings. After our visit he energetically proceeded to put the improvements into place. Some improvements take a bit more time, which is why we have split this good news into Part 1 and later will come Part II.
The chains used to hang up the stunned cattle made a lot of noise when they banged against the blocking poles. The noise was causing fear in the live animals waiting in the raceway. A simple solution, the fitting of p.v.c. tubes around the poles has now solved the problem.
The hissing of the pneumatic stunning box was very loud which made the cattle restless and frightened. The veterinarian put a noise filter on the pneumatics. This reduction of noise cannot be photographed but the veterinarian has informed us that the sound is now drastically decreased and is a big improvement.
Silencers have also been placed on the anti-reverse doors of the raceway. First as a test but if they work well, they will be kept. If they are not adequate, then another solution will be sought.
Also, the floors of the unloading area and raceway were quite slippery and cattle were seen walking nervously and some even slipping. These floors have now been graved.
At the end of the raceway there was an iron bar with sharp edges. This has been removed and replaced with a smooth, round tube.