Eyes on Animals documented horrible conditions inside several Turkish slaughterhouses in 2013.  Since, we have been working with AWF at making concrete improvements there to reduce the suffering. Our teams travel 3 times a year to Turkey to audit slaughterhouses, hold seminars and meet with Turkish veterinarian
authorities. So far we have audited 12 slaughterhouses and have done follow-up checks on each one. In this newsletter we would like to share with you some positive news from the ground!

Reduction of suffering at Baskent slaughterhouse in Ankara

A few weeks ago we revisited slaughterhouse Baskent and were pleased to see they implemented several animal welfare improvements we had recommended:

1. They made the sides of the raceway solid. This reduces the creation of shadows and prevents animals from seeing scary distractions on the sides. Cattle do not have a good sense of depth and thus hesitate to pass shadows and obstacles quickly, as they need time to understand what they are. With solid raceway sides, animals will have less fear to move forward and workers will therefore not be tempted to use cruel methods when moving them through the facility.

                  BEFORE                                                AFTER

The great forest

2. They built a roof above the lairage to prevent the creation of shadows (which confuse the animals) and to protect the animals from the sun and rain.

                  BEFORE                                                AFTER

The great forest

3. Cattle, like most mammals, will move more easily towards a lit up area. Previously, cattle were being forced to move from the bright outdoors into this dark restraint box.
It was a point in the facility where we saw animals hesitate from fear and handlers resorting to twisting their tails or prodding them repeatedly. Now, a light has been installed above the restraint box so the contrast with the outdoors is not so great and animals are less fearful to enter. This has greatly reduced the stress level and eased handling.

                            BEFORE                                                AFTER

4. Racks above the raceway were installed so bulls are not able to mount each other. During our previous visit we saw many bulls mounting each other while waiting in the raceway. This led to some bulls falling and injuring themselves in the side railings of the railway.

                            BEFORE                                                AFTER

Improvements at Kurucay slaughterhouse in Bolu

We also revisited slaughterhouse Kurucay in Bolu a few weeks ago. In October 2014 we had seen adult cattle being hoisted by one leg fully off the floor. Sadly, live hoisting is still seen throughout Turkey but raising the conscious animal fully off the floor is something that needs to stop immediately.  We were relieved to see they had made some changes:

1. Cattle are no longer hoisted fully off the floor anymore. Their head, shoulder and flank remain on the floor while being cut. This at least reduces some of the suffering caused by being hoisting and left hanging while still fully conscious. Nevertheless we disapprove of any kind of live hoisting and are working at phasing out this practice in Turkey completely.

              BEFORE                                               AFTER

The great forest

2. The walls of the raceway were made solid which prevents the creation of shadows, avoids animals from seeing scary distractions on the sides and eases movement forward without the need for harsh handling.

                      BEFORE                                              AFTER

The great forest

EonA assisting officials in Turkey with slaughterhouse modernization to improve welfare

The Turkish Ministry of Agriculture has decided to distribute our brochure, on how to improve animal welfare in slaughterhouses, to every single slaughterhouse in Turkey! Further, we will give the officials from the Turkish Ministry, responsible for providing financial assistance to agricultural industry stakeholders, a tour this month around several modern EU slaughterhouses to show them best practices. The officials will use this knowledge to set criteria for financial help to modernize Turkish slaughterhouses. 

The great forest

EonA/AWF help host Seminar in Ankara on Improving Welfare during Slaughter

In April we hosted another 2-day training seminar for veterinarians, meat companies and slaughterhouse personnel, this time in Ankara. Over 100 people came. We had speakers from Israel, UK, Australia and Belgium. Animal behavior was taught, the effect of poor welfare on meat quality shown and the science behind stunning discussed, also with religious leaders in the crowd. It was a very open and positive seminar where everyone felt free to talk and share experiences and ask questions.

For more info, please visit our website.

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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