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Dear donors and friends,

Four years ago, during a heat wave, we broadened our inspections from checking individual trucks on the highway transporting animals in extreme heat to checking the arrival of dozens and dozens of animal trucks at slaughterhouses in The Netherlands, western Germany and Belgium. Here the trucks had to park and wait their turn to unload the animals, sometimes for several hours, and in the direct sunlight. We were shocked to see pigs and poultry with their mouths wide open, panting and foaming; some were even dead.


At the time, most of the slaughterhouses had absolutely no infrastructure in place to provide shade, wind and relief from the heat and humidity. Things needed to change - so we got into action.

We met with as many slaughterhouse managers as possible and insisted they take action. We convinced them...
  • to build huge car ports to provide shade for the parked animal trucks;
  • to install water misters in the roof;
  • to invest in strong industrial fans to create a cooling wind;
  • to paint the asphalt of the parking lot white to stay cool;
  • to reduce the loading density of the animals on board as well as waiting times.
We are glad to report that so far nine large abattoirs have made major improvements. Here are some examples of the improvements:
Vion Boxtel pig slaughterhouse - BEFORE (2018):
Long waiting lines without shade or fans for the pigs that are waiting in overheated trucks.
Vion Boxtel pig slaughterhouse - AFTER (2020):
Roofed car park and fans provide cooling for the animals.
Esbro poultry slaughterhouse - BEFORE (2018):
Trucks left out in the sun, thousands of chickens suffer in the heat.
Esbro poultry slaughterhouse - AFTER (2020):
Car port provides shade and industrial fans are in place to provide cooling for the chickens.
Remkes poultry slaughterhouse - BEFORE (2019):
The dark asphalt in the car park causes the temperature to rise even further on hot days; the temperature of asphalt can rise up to dangerously high temperatures.
Remkes poultry slaughterhouse - AFTER (2020):
The asphalt has been painted white, so it does not emit heat; the chickens in the truck suffer less heat stress.

Dutch officials taking action

We also met with the Dutch officials numerous times. Now in The Netherlands also short distance animal-transport journeys in temperatures above 35 degrees are forbidden. Earlier, long distance animal-transport journeys in these high temperatures were banned.

Plants have switched work-shifts so that animals be transported and slaughtered earlier in the morning and not in the afternoon. In fact, last week for the first time ever one large pig slaughterhouse was given the possibility to slaughter at night, instead of the day. This means less suffering for the animals.

Media joining in

Recently major Dutch newspaper Trouw joined us on our heat stress inspections. Three pages were dedicated to the topic of heat stress and our efforts.

> read the article here (in Dutch)
In a fair world animals would not be transported at all on hot and humid days because it is impossible to completely protect them from heat stress even with these improvements in place. But as long as we see animals en route in the summer, we will do what we can to decrease their suffering. Thank YOU for making this work possible!
Lesley Moffat
director Eyes on Animals
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IBAN: NL73 TRIO 0212 3642 19
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