This week we, together with the Dierenbescherming (Dutch Animal Protection Agency), delivered the petition ‘Don’t let us suffocate’ to the director of Animal Agrochains and Animal Welfare at the ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), Lieke Hendrix. The petition was signed 43.788 times, for which we would like to thank all signatories!
For many years Eyes on Animals has been inspecting livestock transport during days with high outside temperatures and concluded that the existing regulations seriously fall short. Since 2016 various heat protocols have been developed by the sector and NVWA (The Dutch food and consumer product safety authority), partly due to the results of our inspections.
Last summer it became abundantly clear these protocols did not deliver the desired results. That’s why Eyes on Animals and the Dierenbescherming started the campaign ‘don’t less us suffocate’ in the summer of 2018.
Together we developed a number of essential improvements which should protect the animals better during days with high temperatures. We want animals to be transported and slaughtered during the coolest times of the day (in the morning and at night), improvements made to the transport trucks in order to be able to better cool down the animals as well as implementing the adjustments to prevent heat stress when the outside temperatures reach 21°C. An extensive summary of all these essential improvements can be found in the report ‘On the frontline against heat stress’.
The task of the minister and the government is to provide the NVWA with enough means to determine heat stress and to be able to act on this (sooner) when the animals experience heat stress. Clear criteria need to be set within the law. We’d also like to be involved in developing a protocol for the NVWA inspectors to determine heat stress for the various species of animals.
EoA will continue the inspections during the heat this coming summer. By visiting slaughterhouses, checking transport and continuing our dialogue with all parties involved. We will keep you posted and would like to thank you again for supporting this campaign.