In June, teams of Eyes on Animals and AWF visited a number of Turkish slaughterhouses, where animals are slaughtered ritually and unstunned. At most of these slaughterhouses we were received very politely. We concluded that there are several aspects that need to be improved to make the animals suffer less. Managers and veterinarians of these slaughterhouses have promised to be open to implementing improvements. Within the context of this we requested a visit to a slaughterhouse in Amsterdam, the ‘Food Center Amsterdam’, where ritual and unstunned slaughter (kosher in this case) also takes place. Assuming this slaughterhouse, where animals are slaughtered ritual on a weekly basis, is modern and well-equipped we thought we could acquire knowledge which we could pass on to slaughterhouses in Turkey. Mr. Ruud Wessels told us on the phone that we are absolutely not welcome, so the board had decided. They are not prepared to cooperate and provide us with knowledge we can use to help Turkish slaughterhouses that are interested in improving. We are not even focussed in this case on the slaughter itself, but about things like facilities. The reason we are not welcome is that the NVWA (Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority) strictly checks if rules are obliged by. This is good to know, but for the purpose we have now: acquiring knowledge, completely irrelevant. A second reason that was given was negative experiences with other “organisations”. Even our request for a meeting in which we could clarify our intentions was firmly rejected. And then the telephone conversation was ended abruptly… A shameful attitude, not to be willing to share knowledge, and a total lack of transparency, especially considering the fact that Eyes on Animals is known for its solution-orientated approach regarding animal welfare; always in collaboration with others. Shame on the kosher Slaughterhouse Amsterdam!
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