Animal welfare, slaughter methods – with Donald Broom, Lesley Moffat, Madelaine Looije

Animal welfare, slaughter methods – with Donald Broom, Lesley Moffat, Madelaine Looije


we’re both working for Eyes On Animals
which is an animal welfare organization with that’s registered in Holland but
we focus mainly on transport of farm animals and slaughter so we’ve got volunteer inspectors and freelance inspectors that work pretty much all over Europe and in
Turkey our aim simply is to reduce suffering now so we try to take the
theory and put it into practice and also the legal requirements putting them into
practice so we’ll use the goodwill of industry to try to get positive changes
in the slaughterhouses or in the trucks but we’ll also give training courses to
police to make sure that legislation is better enforced and Madelaine is an
inspector for the organisation since one year now yes since one year and before I did campaign work for other animal welfare organisations and I also did some a few inspections but since work for Eyes On Animals now I did a lot of inspections already in one year I’ve been involved for a long time in trying
to evaluate animal welfare in a scientific way and to try to clarify all the concepts
and that includes housing systems transport and slaughter methods most of my research has been on housing and transport but I do spend a lot of time
dealing with slaughter as well one of my first questions was the agreement among scientists on methods for gauging animal pain because you hear debate over for example co2 stunning vs
electrical stunning and some people think that co2 stunning is not painful
is there general consensus among the experts on the measurement of pain in
animals I would say that there is a general consensus on on the
assessment of pain and there are different kinds of measurements which
can be made but we are still learning about how to identify pain and assess it, it’s easier in some species than others for example it’s
quite easy to tell that a human or a dog is in pain because I they a lot of noise
it’s very hard to tell the ship is in pain because generally they don’t make noise and in fact it is to their disadvantage to make a
noise if they’re in pain if there is a predator present so actually
assessing pain is not always straightforward but we learned a lot about it recently
for example with sheep we developed a methodology of looking at
expression on the faces a grimace movement which is shown very slight
changes in the face but it’s proving to a be very useful indicator of the extent
of pain in sheep and obviously is also difficult to identify pain in fish or it’s harder in generally in
birds than in mammals because the things you can measure are different but you can
measure your behavior and you can measure physiological changes which give you
information about the extent of pain that’s been really important in trying
to work out whether animals are in pain when they’re supposed to have been stunned if they’re supposed to be stunned but actually they’re still feeling all the pain then that can be a really bad thing I met Madelaine actually through this whole question of is CO2
ok and I had heard from many people in the industry that CO” had advantages and
the reason I started getting interested in knowing more about it was Tesco a
few years ago had published an article saying that they would like all
slaughterhouses that supply pork meat to the Tesco supermarket at least the UK I
don’t know about the rest would switch to a CO2 system, paternoster CO2 system and so I asked a slaughterhouse here in Holland if I could see it for myself
but you can’t actually see the animals going through the CO2 at the highest level because they go down about four to five metres so we installed cameras and I met
Madelaine through that ’cause she had actually tested CO2 on herself maybe you can
explain how you felt and then I’ll explain what we saw on the pigs Yes I also wanted to know I read a lot of research method that is
used for a big first mosque they are your yeah well I tried to greet you too
but it almost impossible to keep it to your mouth because you with all yard all
the power and all my strength you have you want to get it away because it makes
you really feel like so there’s nothing in there about you can you know it
you’ll only die tired the concentration the more you also felt like it was a lil
bit here burning but actually what was the most are you don’t have to agree
with you that inhaling carbon dioxide concentration is really unpleasant thing
to do and now there have been studies on a whole range of different species of
animals which they tried very hard to avoid high concentrations of carbon
dioxide so if it’s below about twenty percent then there’s less of widens once
you as soon as you get much more than that then all of the main farm animals
well well strongly avoid oxide if they care what we conclude from that is it
better to having you know like all gone and divisive gas like carbon dioxide I
do think that the gas money methods are very good we have pics for example
because you can move things along in a group they can stay in a social group
they can we move along move along into a container and then the container lowered
into the gas and that means that the handling is very
good at handling is much better than you get if they’re going to be electrical
stuff which is the other major method for first time more pics but luring them
into the gas it then it depends what yes it is because if it’s guess they just become unconscious
without showing any sign of awareness of being in the gas but I’m not hundreds of
pics which have been that way into carbon dioxide they all show a very
substantial response to it they head back they they they they gasp very
conspicuous they struggle they move around tried very hard to get out of the
place where the carbon dioxide is but that doesn’t tell us something like
thirty sometimes two seconds and in the commercial systems that I’ve looked at
so I would say that gas stunning it’s a good thing I can understand where test
cocaine profits saying we ought to meet the gas study but actually its carbon
dioxide is not the best guess I don’t think we can save black-and-white that
one system is always going to be more common than either I think you will
never have the potential to be welfare friendly simply because even if the
movement is easier you can never get rid of that horrible feeling a breathing in
through the lecture thing which is the only alternative we have right now on
the market it can be improved it has potential for the potential has it
really been sought out Temple Grandin to keynote point of view
designed like one of them we’ve seen now and Germany and there’s also
slaughterhouse encounter that I think I made a photo with madeleine to the
internet you can see it but it’s the sort of Corel ground where the animals are guided in a
semicircle and then there’s two entrances into the single file and they
can choose which one and if if you try to get them into the right answer
instead of course wanna going to laugh but that’s fine but they go to the last
but the coral movement the movement of animals thinking that they’re going back
to where they came from seems to really reduce the stress and
then the other fun house that we did the back of the theater than offset up here made a pig and then there and let the
other one go in normally this is a diet and all the pic
actually stand on the side to let this one go them but it goes on the diagonal
and that end up becoming a bottle but that might mark slaughterhouse in the
eastern part of the country but I think we all agree with that slowly ideal situation would be a good find
another guy at work the commercially viable that abundance like helium could
work but it’s not abundant we’re different things about our Benghazi the
possible of the economically viable the point is and what we’re trying to do
here in the Netherlands and Germany is to create pressure on industry to keep
searching for so long with accepted without really thinking who I do agree
with you that the handling systems are crucially important for animals and it’s
it’s very good that there are efforts to try to make them better whichever stunning system is used we
have i think a particular problem with poultry because at the moment the way
they are handle is that they are hung upside down and that is a very
disturbing thing to do and if you can in doing that by the human hand human
presence and they’re just by being put upside down and also doesn’t always work
it works reasonably but it doesn’t always work well sometimes not stuck to
a movie when I’m not done so there are some major problems with the with
poultry standing if the birds are going into the head into class then that is
much better for their welfare and it’s also better for their welfare is also
reflected in the quality of meat quality is better when they have two guests
starting systems but when I have the electrical systems broke straight but I
do think that the it is feasible to use all gone now the situation is all going night so I present in the air which we are all
breathing and can be extracted from the the actual cost of doing it slightly
greater all gone and carbon dioxide but the
difference in the actual cost is small the problem with the usage of these two
gases that at the moment all gone is being use and there is a great demand
for it all the steel industry and as a result the price of our goal is inflated
more than it ought to be because there is a lot of people who want to use it in
the steel industry I’m not seems to be a reason why it’s not being sufficiently
produced far more snuggle time tools but I think in the long run that it is the
best guest to use nitrogen there’s very much variation among species and how
animals reactive nitrogen whereas almost all the animals seem to take no notice
of all gone in other words they become cultures apparently without knowing that
happened to them species all this to have by being in and
not doing nothing like as much as carbon dioxide carbon dioxide is directly of
this is somewhat divisive in some sections that sits with some species so
I think we should move to LA and that’s the way forward with both poultry
poultry and pigs why do you think it’s not yet in place for votes also because
the expense of the industry thing this is being used there are some folks sorry but I think
it’s because the price of the argon is it’s it’s it’s a bit higher than the
carbon dioxide so it’s cheaper to go outside the total cost difference is
when you look at the home production of the animals it’s it’s a very small
amount of money but it but if you’re paying for a small house unless you .
change I think they were all gone and carbon dioxide heavy gases there about the same specific gravity is about the same so
that means that if you if you put the gas into a chamber then you can lower
animals into that chamber and it works for both of the gases that both heavy
got there there there isn’t really a disadvantage in terms of that same
equipment and the slaughter houses is what they know how thirsty are gone
because of also ahead yes when we talk to a very large slaughterhouse in Europe
a lot of money and that’s been invest in research and we talked about are going
with them though they were worried that when the workers were to cut open the
carcass but the workers wouldn’t tax they are coming out of the lungs and may
also just affiliate u do you think that’s not a city excuse because carbon
dioxide well as you’ve described when you taking comes outside you know where
is without going you don’t know the reason why you can’t use some other
gases like carbon monoxide carbon monoxide is good for most animals but
it’s so dangerous to people that it’s not going to be years it just means you
have to design the equipment you don’t have a problem of people actually
getting into the place where the argument is that the amount the amount
of bargain which would be in the lungs of an animal would be extremely small in
comparison with the volume of the area around so I don’t say I really don’t
think that that’s a significant others up toxic and we are pulling out all the
time in very small quantities the problem with all the money that they the
animal takes longer to die in takes longer to become unconscious in
our remaining come back out there and that is that all you got to design a
courageous in such a way that you are a couple of minutes ago where industry
take much to be opened our bond because their time as organist not possible we
have to keep looking at maybe a an economic factor are going to the bit
more and that the animals have to stay a bit
longer than you gonna have 10,000 people today the maybe only eight which is what
the industry can all come down just a muddy but I guess one of their the
hinders ok so I think this is an area where there has been a significant
development in that first of all we now have really good evidence that when an
animal’s throat is cut without it being done beforehand that there is a period
of extreme pain and this has been found out by recording from the brain and it’s
it’s absolutely clear now that that’s the case and the time that it takes is
not it’s up to about two minutes and cattle and poultry and usually twenty to
forty seconds in and she generally they’re not kill pix by that method
that’s a significant amount of time to have extreme hey they’re starting to be
a quite rapid move in a number of countries and I would I’d like to know
how it how you’re seeing it at the moment in house water so the Muslim
world is moving to having a stunning occurring within five seconds of the
right being cut and that means that the animals are going to be or not to have
that significant period of pain and suffering and how slaughtering I
understand in the UK it’s now 75% of our house meters produced with a weather
done within five seconds of the cut and I just been I’ve been to bury her number
and Asian countries recently and talk to people about it and they’re interested
in this and that I think there’s a potential for that to happen more and
more countries so far in jewish they haven’t changed or hardly anybody’s
changed in my to my knowledge but I think there is that they’re out there is
a real sign of change in the Muslim world well what we’ve seen here in Europe
Belgium where we’ve been to some wealth fund houses there are also running free of the plan and there’s a few how
slaughterhouses here in Holland that are allowing even pre stunning it always
depends on the local demand and the discussions that the slaughterhouses
have had with the religious liberty format local area and that but it
somehow work same thing and Turkey are you can go from one to the next 10 have
different opinions but Turkey which is mainly where we were a little bit and
it’s difficult because even though some Imams don’t have such a problem with
stunning either want Millie do it all comes down to the religious authorities
in ankara and our experience with them we had to do over Turkish volunteers
there in December as they’re not very much aware of the science and it really
takes a lot of discussion even get one or two because there’s been such a mess
that has been read about halal about stunning that means their minds quick a
lot of them are really insistent that of its not allow if you do not if you think
it’s important that we get the information to them and that more things
Arabic and Turkish that’s the number one thing that we often ask researchers is
trying to get their research published and not in the languages that are used
by countries that have a lot of palau production Arabic and Turkish and
Persian really thing for both Jewish and Muslim people is that the anomalies they
want to make sure it is alive the point that the religious ritual
cutting it hasn’t been killed by the study and there is actually a need for
reassurance that this is possible that the methods which are used for studying
do not kill the animal another thing that’s important i think is the there is
the idea that the animal doesn’t bleed that the blood doesn’t come out if the
animal has been stuff that is completely wrong is still set by some people well
we don’t want to have this caucus and eat it because it hasn’t been a problem because the animal was done but actually
when you stop the animal it doesn’t mean that that’s blood comes out that’s
completely run what ya mean that more blood is coming out of an animal’s
calmer than it would be the normal rate where it can be filled up and properly I
have enough blood to to get out of an animal’s totally stressed before being
cut the heart is beating so fast but it often doesn’t fully fill out with black
to get it out what we heard from other manufacturers and I can’t believe it and
turkey with the animals that are so that their breathing really hard to pumping
their fists pumping that a lot less blood coming out but soon as leader
reason why so many in Europe Middle East is because they have to be there it’s
not that i know i will like her a lot of reading animals as well they’re trying
to create their own her are not dependent on other countries but also
europe you’re really wanted to expert animals to Turkey because we’ve got a
surplus dairy animals basically dairy cattle and our beef mainly comes from
read but shockingly and the dairy cows are lower quality 2011 not low quality I
don’t know what the right word but they’re not be the the good quality you
can find a market but the lebanese and Turkish were willing to buy the surplus
good deal that was made there were sending mainly are our surplus dairy
cattle for slaughter and four and the females refuting what are some of the
overall positive and negative trends you see within the slaughterhouse industry I
think one positive trend which is occurring in the number of places now
that they are putting video cameras in the slaughterhouse and this means that
the people who are handling animals and the people who are actually carrying out
the slopes procedure are they are aware that there is a camera and even if he’s
not on the time that it makes people behave if
they might be observed by camera and it seems to me that something which really
significantly improved under welfare and we actually should have legislation to
say that also the houses should have you can we we agree we are also in contact
with many slaughterhouses and tried to go yeah we’ve gone through quite a few
thought of as the lawn and selling them and also in belgium but when we go to
slaughter houses we always give certain recommendations and one of them like the
way you do you think TV if you know you’re always going to paying attention
what you’re doing but also even have to screen has not always been watched by
the director of the boss if the authorities and the government come they
can request to watching footage from the day before they have to hold onto that
footage for a certain amount of time so I think that gives a lot better chance
for proper survey and the other thing we try to do with told bosses to they have
to set the standard at the slaughterhouse that you’ve got a bad
manager you’re going to have bad animal welfare so the onus is really on the
manager he needs to show that well as important but he also hopes to give
bonuses or give a compliment is workers that are working hard and not the nicest
thing you did a good job and create an atmosphere in the slaughterhouse the
professional and where you’re respected for doing the dog what you’re doing and
then I think people will also treat animals better would you say that
apparently the level of inspection by the government in the other office is
not there is not enough government goes the slaughter of Isabel where everyone’s
warned government inspectors are here and the speed of the slaughter line of
reduce I’m not doing all slaughterhouse doing this but we we meet with a lot of
people from the industry but the lower workers truck drivers and we hear their
side of the story on their stuff we are no a warning that goes down and most CCTV camera would be ideal I know
they’re a good bunch organization they’ve got footage they I don’t know
who hung up the cameras but they are not cameras and someone that knows and
doesn’t have any case and they got horrendous footage and fly to
slaughterhouses and we’ve been on announces slaughterhouses hon I said the
smaller one which are always well supervised really bad even in so-called
animal-loving Holland and tell me what you just said and I i there certainly
are people who are behaving very badly intriguing and badly in some
slaughterhouses my impression is that the average has been improving in most
countries and that is partly because of government action but it’s more to do
with the priest connectedness of the industry that is you have a farmer
producing animals being transported and was being handled in the slaughterhouse
and then the meat being so if the animal is being treated badly then you get a
lot of good quality you get bruises you get changes in the meeting also sexy
they drive me and these are more likely to occur if the welfare of the animals
though the more you have a connection between what happens on the way the
animals and that it into a vehicle of alleged for a vehicle handled in the
slaughterhouse all of those procedures if they’re all connected then there is
an incentive for people to do the job better and that generally means better
welfare of the animals I do understand that argument in the in practice we are
surprised by how much suffering we still so much meeting for do so much get added to their meeting them he gets
grounded out with other part in a hamburger you don’t really realize that
maybe to you and you know you had to waiver to add a lot of the welfare phone
but are happening are influenced by me quality and I think
industry will always find a use for quality practices in general do you
think are most problematic in the farming industry they’re probably the
worst animal welfare program in the world is your brother chickens because
there are enormous numbers on the rather high proportion of them still have major
leg disorders and then the second worst is no milking cows and I think we can
count the welfare of milking cows has become worse and worse in the last 20
years it’s that only got worse because encouraged if you have very high milk
yield then you have increased amounts of best I just like disorders and
reproductive disorders and that the evidence for that is absolutely clear
but in the industry there is people are still pushing for higher yields how
strongly prefer to be able to graze in the field if they can they wouldn’t give
up food altogether in order to do that but I still get good enough food but we
have a tendency to have more and more files which are kept inside buildings
all their lives that means that needs are not met as well as an animal which
is able to go out and great I strongly we need to really be and how much not against me to say that we cannot
continue this way not with the amount of antibiotics are given the amount of
plans are you not with the number of animals it’s really gotten out of hands
and we’re being becoming used to having cheap meat plentiful me feel like some
of the most successful pathways to bring about this reform is it direct consumer
pressure on the producers or is it nonprofits working to enact or enforce
legislation both of those things I think it has been the case that Animal
Protection Society have often been able to influence the public and provide
information for the public and that’s been very valuable thing to do and also
as you just saying this week highs the company’s and give them information
which helps to make their operations more efficient
and more acceptable to the outside world but I think in the long run the biggest
the biggest changes which have occurred in the last twenty years have occurred
because retail companies supermarkets and fast-food they are enforcing them
and they have more money to do the enforcement and government more
inspections coming from the supermarket in the UK at the moment there has been a
significant drop in the number of people who are expecting anything because of
the financial crisis humidity of the banks being able to having to be bailed
out so government stuff go up and down according to how they however the
country is that the markets can’t afford to be shown up by the clients customers
and so they are doing the inspections and they are having a valuable use
valuable to be improving animal welfare and you can put forth the good part
because they definitely are some good people good farmers and even people who
work in the transport sector that are different but do you want to do their
best they’re the minority according to ice but they deserved our support if not
they’ll stay the minority and we hope will be the majority ending

4 thoughts on “Animal welfare, slaughter methods – with Donald Broom, Lesley Moffat, Madelaine Looije

  1. Eat a high carb plant based diet and remove all arguments surrounding, and your contribution and/or susceptibility to, animal exploitation, environmental destruction, global warming, human starvation and human chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stoke etc.

    Anyone who is not eating high carb plant foods in 2016 is either ignorant to the data and the issues, in which case read a book such as "how not to die" by dr greger, or you are literally just an idiot for perpetuating an unnecessary truckload of negativity surrounding your food choices.

  2. "Humane slaughter" is an oxymoron. If I slaughter you with CO2 does that make it humane? If I slaughter you with electrical stunning or halal slaughter or shechita slaughter, does that make it humane? We can get all our macro and micronutrients from plant-based sources which makes using animals for consumption unnecessary, therefore inherently unethical.

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