Today we arrived at 5am at Kumasi slaughterhouse and first checked on the section where pigs are slaughtered. Pigs were grabbed from the lairage area and thrown, literally, over the gates. They fell hard on to the ground. They are then chased towards the kill area, which is full of old broken equipment (leftover from when a Canadian government organization had helped them build a slaughterhouse 20 years ago). They are then beaten on their heads with a large metal pipe. When we entered, one pig was still alive despite being bashed on her head. She was coughing. We insisted she be stunned immediately with our captive bolt pistol, and did so.
We observed cattle arriving dead to the slaughterhouse, and others still alive but needing to be dragged off the trucks. Several weak and dehydrated cattle in the lairage were completely lethargic and found lying on the ground, not responding to our presence or offer of water. The cattle are brought into a different building than the pigs. Here the floor was covered in thick blood. They are tethered, forced to fall on the ground and then have their throats cut. Dying animals were lying on top of dead ones, live ones walking among the chaos, unsure of where to go or what was expected from them. Panic found throughout the whole room.
But the good news is that the Muslim authorities of the cattle plant accept stunning (one had followed a training course at Bristol university). They just have not been stunning the cattle because they do not have the equipment to do so. The workers were eager to learn how to properly stun both the pigs and cattle before slaughtering them. Roy and Safian from the EonA/WACPAW team taught all the employees how to load the captive bolts and then stunned each animal next in line. Afterwards the workers took over and learned how to stun the animals themselves, under our supervision. We helped humanely restrain the pigs in our arms to avoid that they be chased, as the plant does not yet have a proper raceway or restraint box yet.
The plant now has received two captive bolts from us (Eyes on Animals and WACPAW) and promised to keep using them. WACPAW will do follow-up checks and continue the dialogue with them, in order to make sure that the way animals are treated during unloading, lairaging, restraining and slaughter be improved. There is so much left to do but we won’t give up.
Short video about what we achieved so far in the pig slaughterhouse:
Short video about the cattle slaughterhouse: