On January 13th 2016 the Eyes on Animals and TSB|AWF team returned to Gönen slaughterhouse in Turkey as they told us they had made several improvements since our last visit. In June 2013 we visited this plant for the first time (see HERE).
We had observed cattle falling and being shoved and having their tail twisted, in order to move them forward. The floors were slippery and the design of the raceway was such that the animals could see inside the slaughterhouse and shadows were created on the floor, making them very scared to move forward. This lead to the workers using unacceptable practices such as hitting the animals and painfully twisting their tails. We sent them our report and gave them advice on what steps could be taken to reduce the suffering and stress for the animals at their plant. In early-2015 they informed us that they had started with construction. Today we returned to see for ourselves the improvements. Indeed, the plant built a roof above the entire lairage and raceway to protect the animals from adverse weather and block the creation of shadows and puddles on the floor, which distract and cause fear in animals. Plus, they changed the sides of the raceway, making it now solid with curves to block the view up ahead, and also of distractions to the side. Solid sides usually ease movement, as the animals are less fearful, and as a consequence the workers no longer feel the need to use painful tactics to force them ahead.
We would like to congratulate Gönen for these first important steps. They should be proud for taking action. We will continue to encourage them to make more positive changes so that the restraint and slaughter method be also improved on.