Today, Eyes on Animals visited several slaughterhouses to see to what extent they have taken measures to prevent heat stress.
VION’s pig slaughterhouse in Apeldoorn built a canopy to allow trucks to wait in the shade. VION will extend this canopy to allow more space between the trucks and improve ventilation. Additional (small) fans have also been purchased. These measures were implemented as a result of a previous visit by Eyes on Animals.
At VION’s pig slaughterhouse in Groenlo, Eyes on Animals advised to place additional fans for trucks while they wait and unload. Shade is cast by the building, but sometimes trucks have to wait at a nearby gas station, without sufficient shade. Therefore, we also advise VION Groenlo to install a canopy
At ESBRO in Wehl, they built a canopy with large fans and a misting system in 2020. The air is approximately 3-5 degrees Celcius cooler under this canopy than next to it. We have not yet been able to measure the air while trucks are parked underneath. ESBRO let us know that during warm weather they would like to start slaughtering four hours earlier (at 00:00) so that there is no supply after 13:00 when temperatures reach their peak. However, they could not get this approved by the NVWA, who has to adjust their inspection times accordingly. They have permission to start two hours earlier next week, but this means that there will still be an influx of animals at times when it gets very hot (until approximately 14:00-15:00).
Eyes on Animals is pleased with the measures taken so far. Soon, we will revisit theses slaughterhouses to see if the measures taken are adequate to prevent severe heat stress and what else can be done to further decrease animal suffering. We also continue to emphasize that waiting times of longer than 15 minutes are unacceptable. Slaughterhouses ought to build larger waiting pens and more unloading ramps so that the animals can be unloaded off the trucks immediately upon arrival.