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Dear friends,
I want to tell you about Akuba. A young sow we met last week in Ghana. We were there in the first two weeks of December, inspecting and improving slaughterhouses together with the local NGO WACPAW. Our goal: curb the intense suffering of animals that is going on there.
Akuba was raised on a farm just outside of Accra and destined to become a breeding sow. She got stuck while trying to turn in a “Made in China” gestation crate and broke her spine.

She had been lying like this, in agony, for hours. The faeces collecting around her hind were dry and hard, a sign that she had not been able to get to her water for a very long time. And this while being 36 degrees Celsius and 85% humidity out…

Normally such an animal would still be dragged out of the farm towards the slaughter slab. There she would be, like the others, clubbed on the head numerous times until she stopped moving and a person could approach her and cut her neck with a blunt knife to bleed her out.

That is the way slaughter goes in Ghana. With a lack of knife sharpeners and captive bolts stunners to render animals humanely unconscious before slitting their throats, animals are unnecessarily tortured during slaughter.

We can judge this, but it won’t solve the problem.

Decades ago in the Netherlands and Canada, we also slaughtered this way. It was thanks to the invention of modern stunning tools that we could render animals at least unconscious prior to killing them. But these tools are not easily available or affordable in most parts of the world.

That is where we come in. Together with WACPAW we have been bringing stunners and cartridges, as well as knife sharpeners into Ghana since 2017 to teach the local farmers and butchers how they work.

Improving animal welfare in Ghana

This past December we improved eight slaughter premises by getting pre-stunning into place. I want to share with you some of the improvements we made there for the animals.
> We introduced stunning
We gave them stunners so that the animals would no longer be repeatedly clubbed or have their throats cut while fully conscious.
BEFORE: Clubbed repeatedly for a slow horrible death
AFTER: Introducing stunners to render animals unconscious instantaneously
> We built unloading ramps
We built an unloading ramp where pigs were forced to “ fall” off the trucks and taught all employees how to move animals calmy without using force.
BEFORE: Pigs pushed off truck without unloading ramp
AFTER: Now this abattoir has an unloading ramp
> We taught humane handling
We taught over 20 butchers how to herd animals naturally without using force.
WACPAW and EonA welfare-workshops: Change starts with education, respectful communication and assistance
BEFORE: Pigs dragged and carried by tail, ears
AFTER: Portable raceways to ease humane herding of pigs
BEFORE: Neglected exhausted and dehydrated animals
AFTER: Setting an example – giving animals water and showing compassion
> Preventing injuries by covering open gutters
We covered open gutters where animals were falling in and breaking their legs, now they can safely walk across the gutters.
BEFORE: Animals injuring themselves in open gutters
AFTER: New anti-slip floor and open gutters safely covered
> Spreading good practices to Uganda
And to put a smile on your face despite the very difficult subject, we also had the (plant-based) founders from the Ugandan NGO “The Vegan Village” with us, Bob and Charles!

The Minister of Agriculture in Uganda was interested in our work in Ghana and wants the help of The Vegan Village to clean up animal welfare in Ugandan abattoirs. Bob and Charles learned from us and are bringing back the practical skills to Ugandan abattoirs.
They, like us, know that dropping meat and dairy from our diets is good for reducing the number of animals being slaughtered, but is not enough to reduce the suffering of the animals currently being slaughtered. They want to do both.


And what happened to Akuba? Well, sadly we could not save her or fix her broken spine. But we could put her immediately out of her misery.

Thanks to Roy, who has been volunteering his time since 2018 to help us reduce animal suffering during slaughter, she was rendered unconscious immediately using a captive bolt pistol and bled out.

Roy pet her gently and spoke some soft words to her before ending her misery. She died instantly without further pain.

We are so grateful to him, and all other skilled slaughtermen who care about animal suffering that help us in Ghana, Turkey and elsewhere, that are willing to get their hands dirty to put an end to serious misery.

Thank you!

I want to thank you all for supporting Eyes on Animals. I know it would be nicer to hear about animals that we could rescue, but the  fact is millions are being killed this way everyday and if we can put a dent in their suffering, then we are doing the right thing.

This level of suffering is completely unnecessary and by working together we can put an end to it. And via this educational approach, we know that people are becoming more compassionate to animals which is the goal for the long term.

Thank you for supporting us in this journey!

I wish you all happy holidays.
A video message I recorded for you while I was in Ghana
Lesley Moffat
director Eyes on Animals
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