This afternoon we wanted to check on the welfare of pigs being transported to Olymel slaughterhouse in Saint-Esprit. We had heard from a couple of truck drivers that when they have a technical failure, the trucks arriving with pigs are forced to just wait, for hours and hours regardless if the temperatures outside are freezing cold or very hot. Their lairage is not big enough to unload all animals and there are only two unloading ramps.
In Canada, livestock trucks are not insulated nor do they have automatic flaps to easily regulate the temperature inside. Pigs transported in Canada have been known to freeze to the cold inner walls of the vehicles during transport on cold days or to die of the heat in the summer, especially those on the top floor. Today the temperature was minus 17 degrees Celcius. We presented our organizations and intention to the woman at the security and she said we could not enter to check on the trucks in the parking lot but we could try to get in touch with their Animal Welfare Officer. Despite leaving several messages today and during the week with him, we were never contacted back. It is disappointing, as in the Netherlands we are regularly allowed to check on pig trucks entering the slaughterhouses and our concerns and advice are often appreciated and acted on.