During the heatwave in week 30, two journalists from the popular Dutch TV show EénVandaag joined Eyes on Animals to inspect poultry trucks. Temperatures were above 35 degrees that day. Even though pigs, cattle, sheep and goats are not allowed to be transported when outside temperatures are 35 degrees or more, this does not apply to poultry. Unfortunately the poultry sector does not want to join the Dutch National Heatplan agreement to stop live-animal transport when it is really hot outside. The consequences are major: in week 30 Eyes on Animals visited several Dutch slaughterhouses and at all places we saw chickens suffering severely from heat-stress, several even dead. EénVandaag showed the footage we made to scientific experts and they agreed that the suffering was unacceptable.
Watch the EénVandaag TV show below, where two inspectors from Eyes on Animals are interviewed.
Eyes on Animals is of the opinion that slaughterhouses should work with night shifts in the summer – so transport during the hot day is avoided. Many slaughterhouses are open to this idea, however the official inspection organization, NVWA, does not cooperate (yet). Slaughterhouses however also have to take more serious action, they have a responsibility to slaughter fewer animals on hot days. Some of them now slaughter 18 hours a day, this makes it simply impossible to slaughter during the cooler hours only. Also slaughterhouses have to invest in larger and cooled lairages so animals don’t ever have to wait on board stationary trucks outside.
Eyes on Animals has also been negotiating with slaughterhouses about what other measures they should take to reduce heat-stress, like mobile fans and whitening the road surface. But in our opinion transport during temperatures of above 30 degrees should simply be not allowed, as no measurements can withstand these temperatures and adequately protect animals from heat-stress.