Good Newsletter April 2015

Animal-welfare improvement at Dutch cattle slaughterhouse

I know this does not sound like really good news, because the topic of slaughter never sounds positive. But the fact is, when we convince slaughterhouses to update or make important changes to the design of their equipment, each animal suffers less during the slaughter process.  Every little bit of help really makes a difference to the level of fright and pain the animals will experience.

A few months ago we visited VION cattle slaughterhouse in Tilburg, where many culled dairy cows are slaughtered. The restraint box where cattle are moved into, one at a time, to be stunned was not long enough for some of the dairy cattle to fully fit in. The back door was shutting on their hind quarters, causing some to even fall from the shock of being hit by the back door. As you can imagine, this caused not only fright but also pain, because culled cows often already have sore legs.

We discussed this problem with the managers of the plant and requested them to buy a new, longer restraint box. They reacted positively and admitted the genetics of the dairy cow have changed over the past 20 years since they bought their box. Holstein cows are longer and taller than they used to be. And last week they installed a new, longer restraint box. This means that as of now, unnecessary suffering will be prevented!

Dutch calf slaughterhouse promises welfare-improvements

After EonA visited Ekro calf slaughterhouse (owned by Van Drie) in Apeldoorn (NL), we made several recommendations on how they could reduce unnecessary stress and suffering. They responded saying they will act immediately on the first four recommendations from our report, and later on the rest.  The four improvements are:

1. Adding rubber contacts/pads to the metal gates to reduce loud bangs in the stable that can startle animals.

2. Adapt their restraint box with a view-opening in the front so animals walk more calmly in without being frightened that it is a dead-end.

3. Reduce the hissing noise made by the hydraulic restraint- door opener. The hissing was very loud and frightened the animals from approaching.

4. They will look into the idea of installing speakers in their lairage to play soothing music. Animal-behaviour research has shown that soft melodic music can have a calming effect on animals.

Slovenian Ministry uses EonA/AWF brochure to train livestock drivers

The Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture was very impressed with the brochure we made for truck drivers with practical tips on how to take care of animals properly during transport. They are going to use our brochure in their training courses for livestock drivers and will soon post it on their website. Our practical experience in the field is being spread all over the world!

Read the brochure “Tips for Truckers”

Eyes on Animals watches over the welfare of farm animals. We cannot do this work without financial help. Please, do support us with a donation.

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