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Eyes on Animals Good Newsletter

July 2014

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Further successes in improving animal transport to reduce risk of suffering

One year after releasing our report "The importance of access during transport" and being in regular dialogue with manufacturers of livestock trucks as well as the Dutch authorities and animal-transport companies, we are starting to see the results! The Dutch authorities have just informed us that they have started a consultation with the authorities of all EU member states to set an EU-wide standard on requirements trucks must fulfill to provide adequate access to animals in need of help during transport. They will keep us updated.  Besides this, Eyes on Animals continues to receive news from companies taking our suggestions seriously. Two examples are the transport companies of Rinus van Beers and Paul Raaijmakers.

More and more chicken-catchers in the Netherlands being trained in humane handling

Last September we contacted all chicken-catching companies in the Netherlands and initiated the idea that they invest time and money into training their employees, as the number of birds we inspected that had horrible injuries due to rough handling during loading was shocking. We have been in regular dialogue with the industry and authorities about this subject since, as well as a school that trains people involved in the food business. Training in humane handling is not mandatory under the law, but thanks to our on-going pressure directly with those involved, a 5th training was just given recently. This time it was organized by the catching company together with the slaughterhouse that is not happy with the bruises and injuries on the birds.

We will continue on this project to ensure that the handling of poultry is taken seriously and considered a job that one must conduct professionally, and not just something that poorly paid people with no experience can do any which way they want!

The Jumbo stops import of horse meat from horrible slaughterhouse Lamar in Argentina

On June 11, Eyes on Animals met with the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager of Jumbo, the second largest supermarket in the Netherlands. We discussed the transport and slaughter conditions for horses in North, Central and South America that Eyes on Animals, TSB Zurich, AA USA and 3 other NGO’s exposed. After EonA released the disturbing results to the Dutch media in March, Jumbo went themselves to inspect conditions at the slaughterplants in Argentina and Uruguay that were supplying them with horse meat. This resulted in Jumbo deciding to immediately stop doing business with one of the Argentinian slaughterhouses (Lamar) where they also found the conditions extremely poor. The other slaughterhouses have to put several improvements into place by September 2014, if not Jumbo will stop doing business with them as well. Eyes on Animals and Jumbo have agreed to meet again in October after they return from their follow-up inspection in Argentina and Uruguay.

Jumbo is also taking the initiative to have Global GAP standards created for horse transport and slaughter by the end of 2014, in an aim to further raise horse-welfare standards internationally.  Read more about this on our website.

Potential for modernization of Turkish slaughterhouses

Eyes on Animals cannot stop the slaughter of animals, but we can help stop a lot of the suffering during slaughter. We are tackling the suffering on all sides. One strategy is putting the ‘best practice’ companies that make equipment to slaughter animals ‘humanely’ in contact with the Turkish slaughterhouses we have been to. We know these companies that make slaughter equipment and have identified which ones take welfare seriously and know their material. We have met with them to show them the problems we saw in the slaughterhouses we visited in Turkey and asked them to do what they can to help. In April we coordinated a meeting between a ‘best-practice’ Belgian equipment company and the slaughterhouse near Istanbul and last week a ’best-practice’ Dutch slaughter-equipment company visited two more of the Turkish slaughterhouses. They are giving advice on how to handle animals and the advantages of proper equipment.

We know we are not saving these animals, but we hope you can understand that this strategy can, in a realistic way, get these plants at least up to higher standards of welfare at slaughter. If we can stop the hoisting of animals alive by chains around their legs, then we will have already accomplished a lot.

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