Today we made an unannounced visit to Eikelenboom slaughterhouse in Lith (NL), where we were warmly welcomed by the owner, Jan Eikelenboom. After a short introductory talk, where we introduced ourselves, we were invited for a tour of the slaughterhouse . At the time, there were only sheep in the lairage.
At Eikelenboom they slaughter both sheep and goats. Upon arrival, the animals are fed to make them feel more comfortable. According to Jan Eikelenboom it is not a problem that the intestines are full, as they slaughter manually and with precision. Furthermore, the sheep can drink water from a long open trough. Jan Eikelenboom says it is important that sheep can see the water.
At Eikelenboom three alpacas are used to lure the sheep into the slaughterhouse. When the sheep arrive and see the alpacas they are less scared to walk towards the lairage and onwards. Jan Eikelenboom emphasized the importance of quiet in the slaughterhouse. He therefore does not allow radio in his slaughterhouse.
Eikelenboom has developed a mobile container for the young animals. The container is mobile, so young animals do not have to walk. This container will soon have a drinking system fitted.
We would like to return to Eikelenboom so we can also see the moving and slaughtering of the animals and give advice on how to (further) reduce stress. We would like to thank Eikelenboom for welcoming us to his slaughterhouse and for his transparency .