Posts Tagged ‘OIE’

New film needs urgent action

Monday, May 28th, 2012

I have just watched the most distressing film I’ve ever seen in my 20 plus years working in the field of animal welfare. It’s our new film entitled A Path to Better Futures? – the need for implementation of the OIE recommendations on animal welfare.

The film was shot in three countries but I fear that the suffering it portrays can be found across much of the world.

The new film

In Egypt we see slaughtermen severing the leg tendons of cattle with a knife in order to make them easier to control.  This and everything else shown in the film is in breach of the recommendations on welfare during transport and slaughter of the OIE – also known as the World Organisation for Animal Health.

In a Turkish abattoir a shackle is attached to the rear leg of sheep and they are hoisted – hanging upside down and struggling – to the killing rail.  Although we did not use it in the film, we have similar footage from Indonesia.  Cattle are winched up by a rear leg and end up dangling upside down in readiness for throat-cutting.

In Egypt cattle are beaten on the head with a large pole.  In some cases it takes several blows before the animal is so dazed that it falls to the ground when its throat is then cut.

In Indonesia we see cattle being unloaded after a four day sea journey from one of the islands.  The animals are alive and conscious. A crane is used to hoist them – hanging by their heads in groups of three – from the ship to a waiting truck.

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Horrendous scenes, yet glimmers of hope…

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
The sad fact is that most of the 10,000 pigs apparently spared, due to the suspension of the cull recently, have since been killed. No more than 2,000 are thought to remain and these are likely to be killed within the week. Some 160,000 pigs are therefore thought to have died, many in the most horrific of ways.

We understand that the resumption of the cull was ordered by Egypt’s Chief Veterinary Officer. This is the very same person who held meetings in Paris just days before with both the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Compassion in World Farming.

Part of the remaining cull was witnessed by Compassion’s own Head of Campaigns, Lasse Bruun, together with a representative from the World Society for the Protection for Animals (WSPA). Appalling scenes were recorded at Bassatin slaughterhouse in Cairo where some of the cull was being undertaken. The pigs who did not get sent to Bassatin are likely to have been killed in the desert.

Footage taken by Compassion in Bassatin is now being analysed by scientific experts at Bristol University to ascertain why the pigs who were still alive were in such a subdued state. Were they drugged? Or were they weak from neglect? The material gathered on the ground is likely to be used as part of a formal complaint to both the OIE and the Egyptian government.

Our campaign to bring pressure on Egypt as a tourist destination is gathering pace. Over 2,500 supporters have taken part in our ‘visa’ protest where they download a spoof visa application and send it in protest to the Egyptian visa office in their country.

We have met with the deputy director of the Egyptian state tourist authority in London. Through this contact, we are now in direct contact with the Ministry of Tourism in Cairo. We have submitted a formal letter with a list of demands including that Egypt end any further culling, implement the OIE guidelines on transport and slaughter and, most importantly, adopt new animal protection legislation.

We expect to be meeting with senior government officials, including the agriculture minister, in Cairo in several weeks’ time. We will press vigorously for our animal welfare demands to be met.
So, the campaign goes on. We continue to ensure that their suffering was not in vain and that the likes of this horrendous atrocity never happen again.

Egypt’s horrific pig kill

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Hundreds of pigs dragged from their smallholder pens and dumped live and fully conscious into a huge dumper truck. Fighting to breathe, the animals writhe on top of each other.

From a distance, the scene almost looks like a tin of maggots. Come closer, and the true horror is clear.
The animals are then driven to mass graves where they are covered in caustic chemicals before being buried. Media reports tell of the pigs screaming at the pain of the chemicals for half hour or more before they are dead. This is the intended fate of all of Egypt’s 300,000 pigs.

Egypt’s mass pig kill is quite simply the worst atrocity to farm animals that I have ever seen.What is so appalling is that it is as unnecessary as it is almost unimaginably cruel.

The apparent reason for the killing is in response to swine flu. However, the leading intergovernmental authority on animal health and welfare, the World Organisation for Animal Health (who’s acronym is the ‘OIE’), has made it clear that a mass ‘cull’ would not help either public or animal health.

And the OIE should know. It is made up of the chief veterinarians from over 170 countries, Egypt being one of them. It recently adopted welfare standards on the emergency killing of animals for disease control purposes. Both these and the advice not to cull have so far been ignored. And all this from a country, Egypt, that hosted the OIE’s second global conference on animal welfare in Cairo as recently as autumn last year.
The true reason for the killing it seems is Egypt’s internal politics. And the incident provides a real test for the OIE of its ability to truly have practical influence over animal welfare. The question is, can and will the OIE act decisively?

There is a real disconnect between the growing international recognition of animals as sentient beings and the almost unwatchable scenes in Egypt. However, the atrocity has galvanised an international movement in outrage. Compassion in World Farming is working with our friends in Egypt and across the world to make sure that this incident is stopped in a way that ensures that its like will never be seen again. Your support in this is as vital as it is appreciated.

Farmageddon on film

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About Philip Lymbery

Philip Lymbery is Chief Executive Officer of Compassion in World Farming and co-author of Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat. He is an internationally respected authority on the impact of industrial agriculture on people, animals and the planet.