For the past 3 days, a team of Eyes on Animals investigators has been visiting slaughterhouses in Benelux. The team observed unacceptable levels of animal stress and suffering, and several violations to the EU slaughter directive as well as to the Halal rules. Due to the nature of this investigation, further details are still confidential but Eyes on Animals will do everything they can to draw attention to the problems and check that the situation improves.
The lives of "farmed" animals, from fattening pig to breeding sow, and from veal-calf to dairy cow, end at the slaughterhouse. According to European law, animals must not endure unnecessary suffering when slaughtered. Sadly this is not always the case. Crippled animals are sometimes dragged or kicked towards the kill floor. Many are left to shiver in the winter on cold concrete floors for hours before being killed. At some plants the workers are not skilled or the equipment is faulty, leading to animals being improperly stunned and cut. Desensitized workers can be found hitting the animals and repeatedly using electric prods on sensitive areas. Slaughterhouses specializing in ritual slaughter (Halal and Kosher), do not stun the animals first and this causes additional pain. Eyes on Animals regularly visits slaughterhouses, unannounced and announced, to check on the condition of the animals arriving at the plant, how they are handled by staff workers, the quality of the installations and housing environment for the animals prior to slaughter, and the effectiveness of the stunning prior to slaughter. Eyes on Animals is in dialogue with the slaughterhouse about their observations and together with them tries to reach improvements to decrease animal suffering.