Dear donors and friends,

We have a lot of good news for you. Let's start with Turkey where we just came back from:

First cattle slaughterhouse in Turkey now with a stunner!

In Turkey, most cattle are placed into trip-floor restraint boxes where they are forced to fall down in order for a person to place a chain around one leg. They are then hoisted up by that  leg and have their throat cut. We see the fear and the pain in the animals´ eyes because during this whole process, which can list minutes,  they are fully conscious and in absolute purgatory. Since 2013 we have been working hard to put an end to this horrible ordeal. We have already achieved many practical improvements, but the idea of stunning the animals prior to slaughter remained taboo. Until recently! This October we visited a slaughterhouse in Turkey  that has now bought a stunning device to be able to render cattle unconscious prior to shackling and cutting: a major breakthrough! Read more about our visit to the slaughterhouse here and watch the video of Lesley Moffat, director of Eyes on Animals, taken just after she left the plant, below.

Turkish company develops first upright restraint box

We also managed to convince Helmaks, a major Turkish producer of slaughterhouse equipment, that trip-floor boxes cause extreme suffering. At the end of 2015 they stopped completely with the sale of these boxes, and recently they have developed the first upright restraint box in Turkey, as experts such as Dr. Temple Grandin recommend, so cattle can at least stand upright in a natural position and tremendous suffering and fear can be reduced. Read more

Serious fines given to livestock transporters during our police-training courses

This fall we were very busy in Poland giving training courses to the official highway truck inspectors and police. After each theory course, we give a practical course where a control point is set up along the highway and all livestock trucks are pulled over by the police to be thoroughly checked. This has led to over 10 transport companies in non-compliance finally being fined! In one Polish truck the pigs were literally crammed on top of each other. We also stopped a truck in mid-November with 4500 shivering and wet chickens on board. There was no side-curtain on the truck to protect the chickens from the freezing rain and wind. Many of the transport crates were also broken, risking that birds fall out onto the road. Together with the police both these trucks and 8 others received penalties and the chicken transport company was given a written order to replace all broken crates.

Our training courses for the highway police are incredibly important. The checks of animal-transport companies are vital to ensure a level playing field and to weed out the worst kinds of suffering - but our team cannot be everywhere. By widely dispersing our knowledge of the EU law and our practical experience, we can ensure that police agents have the motivation and the tools to be able to fine offending transport companies. The aim being that eventually no carrier - anywhere in Europe -  dares to take the risk to violate animal welfare laws! View the articles about our Polish police training courses here.

Eyes on Animals gets the poultry industry moving!

Step by step we are succeeding in convincing the Dutch poultry industry and government officials that the way hens are caught is inhumane and must improve.  After our first Welfare Workshop to chicken catchers from Gemril in April, we gave a second course a few weeks ago to the Van den Broek company. At first, we were not sure if it would be taken seriously - but we were positively surprised! The catchers listened well, brainstormed with us and even put forward new and good ideas. In the evening we held the practical part of the training by catching and loading birds on a commercial farm but using the Swedish catching method with them: upright and supporting the breast maximum two birds at a time instead of the commercial method of grabbing the birds by one leg and hanging them upside down. The boys were very impressed by how much calmer the birds were without them squawking  and running away.

The interest in the Swedish catching method is increasing dramatically. Because of our consultancy with Rondeel, they are now prepared to switch to the Swedish method when the next Rondeel farm needs to be emptied. The Dutch national welfare-organization Dierenbescherming and its´ food labelling system “Beter Leven”  is also planning on adopting the Swedish method into their 3-star criteria in the near future.  And Dronten agricultural college has contacted us now to ask that we also come and train their “future farmer”  students too on more humane ways of handling poultry during catching and loading. We will give the students a theoretical course and after have been asked to assist them with the catching and loading of their 1000 laying hens using the Swedish method. Read more about the Welfare Workshop we gave to Van den Broek.

Significant reduction of animal-suffering in German slaughterhouse

A slaughterhouse in Germany has put into place several important changes we recommended to them.  We just returned from our follow-up inspection. They have now installed a breast supporter. This is a strip of thick plastic that is placed under the shackle line in order to relieve part of their weight and thus reduce suffering caused by  hanging upside-down. Also, they added a plastic ramp to the entrance of the electric water-bath. This reduces the chance that chickens get painful electric pre-shocks. In the pig-slaughter area the floor of the corridor has now been made non-slip so that the pigs do not slip. These improvements may sound small, but they make a big difference for the thousands of animals that are slaughtered annually. We are still in close contact with the slaughterhouse managers to get more changes in place to further improve welfare and we are very pleased by how open they are to our suggestions. Read more about our visit to the abattoir here.

We see with our own eyes that our strategy of direct action and field work gets the industry moving. Who would have thought that cattle in Turkey would be ever stunned? Or that there would finally be a change to the cruel way poultry are caught and loaded? We are very grateful that you believe in our strategy - and for your financial support to enable us to carry out our inspections and training courses. Thanks to your support, we are able to quickly and efficiently reduce some of the suffering of tens of thousands of animals. Through our work we are also able to raise awareness among consumers and industry members themselves, creating a kinder, more gentle world.

Money is currently our only limitation. Please do consider making a donation and let your friends and family know about our efforts. Thank you,

The Eyes on Animals team

IBAN: NL73TRIO0212364219

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