On advice from Eyes on Animals, the slaughterhouse Heinen in The Netherlands has made improvements to the design of restraint box. The end of the raceway used to look like a dead end as the front side of the restraint-box was closed, causing pigs to be scared and to balk. Now they have opened up the front of the restraint box so that the pigs have the idea that there is an opening at the end of the raceway, which makes it less scary for the pigs to approach. . If pigs advance without hesitation and walk quietly, the staff are often also calmer, which further improves the well-being of the pigs.
On May 5, 2017 we were able to see this improvement in practice, and indeed we saw that the handling of the pigs was quieter than last time. The employees and director of Heinen were very pleased with the changes and showed that moving the pigs is now a lot easier. We are pleased that Heinen was open to our advice and made these adjustments to reduce the suffering of the pigs. A big compliment for this! We will continue our dialogue with Heinen slaughterhouse about further ideas for improvements. We would like to see that the color of the restraint box be adjusted as well so that there is no contrast created. Having one solid color can also decrease hesitation in pigs when being walked forward.