Eyes on Animals GoodNewsletter

March 2015

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Real chance that we can change the way pigs are slaughtered around the world

Since we installed cameras inside the CO2 chambers of pig slaughterhouses and published a film about it, we have been non-stop busy creating awareness among industry and scientists about the need to develop a brand new humane alternative. CO2 is very painful to breathe in and causes 15-30 seconds of extreme panic and struggle. We are getting close - we think there will be an alternative available in the near future. Our most recent successful efforts bringing us closer to this goal are:

Research on humane alternative options initiated

On February 23rd we brought the German Slaughterhouse Tönnies and slaughter- manufacturing company V-Cons together at one table with us. We introduced them to each other in the hope that they can work together on finding a “humane” alternative to CO2 to stun pigs before slaughter. Tönnies has the scientific research center and funds, and V-Cons is run by welfare-scientists and skilled engineers that like a challenge. We were thrilled to hear that research on alternative options will start already next month and they will stay in touch with each other on further steps. Read more

Talk about CO2 to members of the European Parliament

On March 12 we have been asked to give a presentation to the Intergroup Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the need for a new humane alternative to stun pigs prior to slaughter. 

Major article about CO2 stunning of pigs in Daily Mail UK

In February we were interviewed by the Daily Mail UK for a critical article about the CO2 stunning of pigs before slaughter. In the article they also included the video we made showing the CO2 stunning of pigs. Out of sight is no longer out of mind, we have succeeded in showing people what pigs face when they go down into the CO2 pits. To the article

Leeuwarden cattle market implements our suggestions

Last week, a team of EonA inspectors returned unannounced to the Leeuwarden cattle market in the Netherlands to make sure unfit cows were not again arriving as we saw in August. Thankfully, the inspectors did not see any crippled or seriously sick cows. The team also checked whether the improvements we had insisted on after our previous inspection were put into practice and was happy to see that they were.

- they have built a concrete loading ramp so now cattle no longer have to walk up steep truck ramps to get on board, which was a major problem last time that led to one cow falling down the truck ramp 
- the posters on identifying a sick and healthy cow that we gave them are up as we asked, so no room for discussion next time!
- the ventilation has been improved with the installation of a new ventilator-vin (kind of propeller) 
- CCTV will be installed soon to record all handling of animals during loading and unloading

Elif slaughterhouse in Turkey makes first improvements

Recently we called Elif slaughterhouse to see if they had put any of our suggestions into place after inspecting it in last fall. They started off by telling us that they had even sent one of their staff members to our training-seminar in Istanbul in October! They have taken action on two of our recommendations so far:
- they have installed extra lighting inside so animals do not have to move into a dark area, which was making them fearful to move forward and leading to workers hitting them
- they have sealed the potholes in the lairage. This reduces the risk of animals getting their legs caught and injured.

We are currently preparing another visit to Turkey in April, where we will be again hosting a 2-day training seminar on animal welfare during slaughter and will do follow-up checks on Elif and all the other slaughterhouses we inspected previously, to keep up the pressure that practical improvements are put into place. We will never give up! 

Our training brochures now also used in Suriname and Poland

Because many chickens get seriously injured when they are caught and loaded into transport crates, Eyes on Animals has urged the industry to train chicken catchers in proper animal handling and animal welfare. We have recently developed a training brochure that can be used in these trainings. This brochure was even wanted by the Focal Animal Welfare Point at the Suriname ministry of Agriculture, who contacted us about it after we mentioned it on our website. They asked whether our brochure could also be used in chicken catchers trainings in Suriname. Of course we did not say no!

Together with Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) we have recently published the original EonA police-training brochure in Polish (used to train highway police on the EU legislation regarding animal welfare during transport). Our brochure was already available in French, Dutch, Hungarian and Bulgarian. The fact that we now also have a Polish version means that we can start offering training courses to the Polish highway police and official veterinary inspectors so that more livestock trucks in Poland can be effectively stopped and checked.

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