This afternoon the Eyes on Animals team, joined by Dr. Ellen Eser (humane slaughter specialist/trainer and veterinarian from Germany) met with the Animal Welfare Officer and Owner of Ivo Hendriksen slaughterhouse in Lichtenvoorde. Last month a team had observed the slaughter of young piglets here and today we wanted to discuss our report and propose some improvements.
They were open to our suggestions about taking steps to reduce some of the noise, and have plans to get started soon. Regarding our concern for the fact that some piglets may get painful electric shocks instead of being rendered unconscious immediately when the manual prongs are incorrectly placed the first time, they did not seem worried. They said they really pay attention and that 99% of the time it happens correctly on the first time.All piglets are stunned twice, so they again feel that they are taking enough precaution to render the animal insensitive before slaughter. They find the alternative of placing the piglets in an automatic restraining belt no better, as the single file causes panic for each piglet. Nevertheless, Dr. Eser gave them other examples of how they could better guarantee proper stunning by making the pen smaller to avoid movement. We would like to thank Wilfried and Ivo for being open with us about this sensitive topic that most other plants refuse to show. We hope to return to the plant in the future to monitor again the stunning and to observe their new pens for the piglets and tactics to dampen noise.