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Dear reader,

Most of you likely found out about Eyes on Animals via a newspaper article or a TV item. But did you know that Eyes on Animals is doing most of its high-impact work quietly in the background without any media attention?

A perfect example was this past year. Three very large European pig slaughterhouses approached us for help. They knew they had welfare problems and wanted to make serious adjustments to the design of the lairage, raceway and stunner, as well as intensify training efforts. The result: millions of pigs in these plants will experience much less fear and suffering there.

We conduct this type of work discretely; we must not lose the trust we have built up with those stakeholders from the industry that are at least willing to improve.

Making improvements

We start by identifying the main challenges in the plant. Then with the help of experts, like Dr. Temple Grandin (international expert on farm animal welfare and humane slaughter), Dr. Kees Scheepens (pig whisperer and veterinarian) and our very own Roy (humane slaughter expert and volunteer of EonA projects in Ghana), we brainstorm ideas that we think would reduce some of the stress and the suffering.
Dr. Temple Grandin helps us during the brainstorm meetings.
EonA at one of the pig slaughterhouses wanting to reduce stress at the raceway entrance.
Examples of proactive ideas:
  • Getting rid of all prods and canes and teaching employees to just use their hands to guide animals, putting rubber on all gates to reduce the noise level in the plant;
  • Changing the lighting so that fewer confusing shadows are created on the floor that animals often mistake for dangerous holes in the floor;
  • Adjusting the raceway so that animals do not think that they are walking towards a scary dead-end.
Workers are trained to calmly guide pigs with their hands and a flag instead of hitting them or yelling.

New educational booklet with tips to decrease suffering

Over time we collect examples of practices that work well at decreasing fright and pain. We have created educational booklets called “Industry Tips – how to decrease suffering and stress during slaughter” with a special foreword written by Temple Grandin.

These booklets, full of practical tips and photos, are then sent to all slaughterhouses we know of, internationally. They are then further passed on via journalists in numerous countries. The Dutch magazine Pig Business, for example, published a detailed article about our educational booklet. An American and Spanish journalist are now also writing articles about it. The booklet has also been sent to food companies. One of them, a large Dutch meat snack company, informed us already that they have shared it with all slaughterhouses that they buy meat from.

The purpose of these educational booklets is that better practices can be copied quickly, to raise the bar in animal-welfare on an international scale.


I know reporting on this type of work is not very exciting, after all the animals will still be sent to slaughter. We do not support this either. But as long as meat and dairy is produced it is crucial to do this type of work to alleviate the very worst forms of suffering.

Whilst we do encourage people to eat more plant-based foods we must also show compassion for the animals being slaughtered today. It is encouraging to see that the people we work with are usually proud of the changes they make afterwards and when they open their eyes and really see animal welfare improving, it makes them often more empathic.

And that is exactly what we want - a more empathic world. A world where people actually take time to look at animals and care for them and one where we work together effectively and peacefully for concrete change.

Many thanks for your ongoing support and trust in our work!
Lesley Moffat
director Eyes on Animals
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IBAN: NL73 TRIO 0212 3642 19
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