Today Eyes on Animals visited Pali pig slaughterhouse in Geldrop. Following advice that we gave them during our previous visit, Pali has now implemented several improvements to reduce stress levels among the pigs.
A number of adjustments were made to the chute (single-file raceway): sharp contrasts and protruding parts have been removed, the entire floor is now one color and green lighting has been installed. The sides of the chute have been closed off (so that pigs are less distracted from people walking along the sidewalls) and during the herding less noise is being made as loud tools have been replaced by quiet ones, like a dish-brush and a water jet stream. They have also hired more women who are more patient and calmer by nature. Because of all these changes the noise level was greatly reduced (from average 83dB to 73dB) resulting in the pigs experiencing significantly less stress.
To reduce the stress level even further, we also recommended that Pali could use more sawdust during transportation so that pigs have better grip and are less likely to slip during transport and unloading. We also provided tips to ensure a better transition to the MIDAS restrainer (belly conveyor belt with sidewalls and roof bars) that brings the pigs towards the electric stunner, like building a false floor underneath the belly conveyor belt, so there is no visual cliff effect. Pigs still experience a lot of stress here. Other slaughterhouses that use the MIDAS have the same issues.
We would like to thank Pali for the many improvements they have already made and their willingness to continue to reduce stress levels even further.