On our advice Thönes Natur has made several improvements to their slaughterhouse reducing the amount of suffering caused to the animals. Thönes Natur uses an electric waterbath to stun chickens and turkeys. Before the birds are stunned, they have to be hung upside down alive in shackles. Then they are brought – upside down – to the electric water bath to be stunned. This live shackling causes the birds considerable stress and pain. The birds flap their wings, lift their bodies up and sometimes cry out. Following our advice Thönes Natur has introduced a breast supporter underneath the shackle line. A breast supporter will reduce the stress and pain caused by the shackling as it disperses the weight of the birds more evenly. It also has a calming effect on the birds. To further reduce suffering, Eyes on Animals has advised Thönes Natur to modify the breast supporter by making it longer to provide the birds with more support, to produce the breast support in a non-conductive material and to make the shackle line higher to prevent the birds coming into contact with the crates that are stacked underneath. Thönes Natur has also attached a steeply inclined ramp onto the entrance of the waterbath. With this ramp the risk of painful electric shock is reduced and the birds are stunned more adequately.
Finally Thönes Natur also made improvements to the stunning of pigs. Thönes Natur already use a corral shaped raceway so the stress of moving the pigs towards the stunner is minimized. To further reduce the pigs suffering they have made part of the raceway floor nonslip. Also a gap that was just in front of the stunner has been sealed, so there is less chance of the pigs getting their trotters trapped.
We are very pleased that Thönes Natur has made the effort to reduce the suffering of animals in their slaughterhouse and we will continue helping them with further improvements.