- TRAINING OF THE HIGHWAY POLICE leading to livestock trucks now being stopped on the highways and the conditions on board for the animals inspected. This has led to injured animals being put out of their misery, dehydrated animals being given water, overcrowded animals being unloaded and offenders being fined
- BUILDING BRIDGES with managers of several livestock markets to attain improvements. Some examples:
- injured and suffering animals are no longer accepted for sale but instead put out of their misery by a veterinarian
- water troughs have been installed so that animals being sold no longer have to go for hours without water
- lactating cows are now milked to relieve them of the pain caused when too much time has elapsed
- hitting and rough-handling of the animals is less tolerated
- loading conditions of the animals are monitored so that animals are not crowded, and small animals are separated from larger ones
"A positive example of collaboration between the nVWA (government) inspectors and Eyes on Animals concerns the horse market (NL). Via holding evaluation meetings with the Horse Market Organizers as well as inspecting the conditions at the horse market, we together achieved significant improvements for the animals this year." nVWA (Dutch government) inspector
- COOPERATING with managers of several slaughterhouses to attain improvements. Some examples:
- unfit animals are being euthanized on board the truck immediately upon arrival instead of waiting hours in agony at the plant
- squeaking doors are lubricated or replaced to reduce noise
- faulty restraining and stunning equipment is being repaired to avoid animals being incorrectly stunned
- weaker animals are now given bedding or floor heating in the waiting pens of some plants instead of being left on wet and cold concrete floors.
- we have successfully convinced several pig slaughterhouses in The Netherlands to install video camera surveillance in the areas where pigs are being handled, stunned and slaughtered. Video surveillance has been shown to have an immediate improvement to animal welfare, with personnel treating the animals more carefully.
"With their knowledge and enthusiasm, they examine what changes a business can make to increase animal-welfare. I have had a very pleasant experience working with Eyes on Animals. We took their tips very seriously and some of their suggestions have already been put into place in our slaughterhouse." manager of a large Dutch pig slaughterhouse
- PLAYING AN IMPORTANT ROLE in improving conditions during transport:
- legislation passed in the Netherlands so that cattle be given more headspace
- pig transports in the summer have lower loading density
- several trucks have been confiscated and companies have had their licence to transport animals revoked
- companies have been fined or given warnings based on our reports
- drew the attention of the European Commission, the media and Member State Chief Veterinarian Officers to the horrible suffering of animals blocked on EU trucks at the Bulgarian/Turkey border
"On many intense animal-transport investigations conditions are difficult. The suffering of the animals and the risky and sometimes dangerous work environment means that people can get tired, frustrated and lose their calm. Eyes on Animals inspectors are professional, unconventional and courageous. They are the type of people one wants to work with in the field." Iris Baumgaertner, Animal Welfare Foundation/ Tierschuetzbund Zuerich
- SUPPORTING in the successful phasing-out of pig castration for the Dutch pig meat market. Via collaborative efforts with the Canadian members of our Taskforce, we have placed pig castration on the agenda for the new Canadian Voluntary Codes of Practice and promoted this topic on Danish television.
- LIAISING WITH OFFICIAL BODIES Eyes on Animals has developed a very loyal rapport with EU and Benelux officials based on mutual respect and two-way trust. Subsequently legal action is taken based on our findings and complaints.
“I cannot give any formal feedback to the work you and your colleagues carry out; but I hope you realize that we are all impressed by what you do and what you achieve (regarding EU trade to Turkey)” Anonymous compliment form official at the European Commission
- WELFARE WORKSHOPS FOR LIVESTOCK TRUCK DRIVERS Through close working relationship with transport companies, Eyes on Animals has provided numerous "Welfare-Workshops" to European livestock drivers to educate and reinforce good practices in the transport and handling of farm animals.
“We participated in a workshop held by Eyes on Animals, which had a lot of added value for our company and our employees. In this manner we have a better understanding of what our colleagues are doing and the communication has improved.” Director of a Dutch/German Livestock Transport Company