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.