When ducks are taken to slaughter, they are grabbed and lifted by their heads/necks, several at a time and thrown into the drawers of transport-modules. This practice was filmed a few years ago by an undercover employee of the organization ‘Animal Rights’. Eyes on Animals despises the brutal way ducks are caught and loaded, and this cruel practice continues today. We are also of the opinion that it violates Council Regulation 1/2005, which states that animals are not allowed to be lifted or dragged by their heads.
In the Netherlands 8 million ducks are caught, loaded and transported for slaughter each year. All of them go to Tomassen Duck-To, which is the only duck-slaughterhouse in The Netherlands. Most of the duck meat is exported. We have expressed our serious concerns to Tomassen about the way ducks are handled pre-transport. We offered to meet with them to work on alternative (less stress and pain) catching and herding methods, along with their catching-crew Van de Pol. Tomassen Duck-To initially put us on a hold (due to bird-flu they could not provide us access to their farms) but recently expressed they have no interest in working with us. We find this very disappointing.
Earlier Tomassen Duck-To (under pressure from the official authorities (NVWA) and on the advice of Eyes on Animals) worked on a few improvements in their slaughterhouse, such as reducing stressful noises and heatstress measures (big fans and misting systems), which were desperately needed . The electric waterbath was also adjusted slightly to reduce pre-electrical stuns. However, our biggest concerns, which we shared with Tomassen i.e. the shackling of live ducks, the inadequate electric waterbath-stunning (many ducks raise their heads and therefore touch the electrified water with their necks first) and the emergency killing of individual ducks, remain unsolved.