In March of this year we paid a visit to a slaughterhouse where among other animals goat-kids of approx. 7-12days old are slaughtered. Read a report about this visit here >>
We find it distressing and unacceptable that some milk goat farmers send their “surplus” goat-kids to a slaughterhouse this young. Although the handling of the goat kids was calm (they stayed in small groups together from arrival to stunning), several animal welfare improvements were needed. Fortunately, the manager was open to our advice and got to work on them right away. He told us he wants to do things as well as possible.
The following improvements were implemented:
- During our visit the goat kids were wet down (shortly before electrical stunning) with a cold and rather strong water jet. This conducts the electricity better. However, this causes stress among the goat-kids. A spray nozzle has been purchased with a softer smaller jet and instead of cold water, lukewarm water will be used from now on.
- The work process has been changed so that goat-kids are bled out immediately after stunning. The sooner this is done, the smaller the chance that goat-kids regain consciousness.
- Especially for the younger animals, smaller, lighter electric prongs will be made. With these prongs electrodes can be placed more easily and accurately, without accidently touching other animals.
- The monitoring of proper debleeding and signals of consciousness has been improved.
- In the stunning area instruction signs will be displayed to minimalize the chances of stress, pain and mistakes.
- Before the start of winter, goat kids in the waiting pen will be better protected from the cold. During warmer days the occupancy rate will be lowered. (from 20 to 15)
- Water bottles with teats will be hung in the waiting pens. Previously these were loose containers on the floor (that got knocked over).
We will revisit the slaughterhouse in early spring to witness the effectiveness of the implemented improvements. We would like to thank the slaughterhouse for their efforts and transparency.