First visit to Taşköprü slaughterhouse, Turkey

This afternoon we visited Taşköprü slaughterhouse. It’s a small abattoir that slaughters just two or three cattle a week. They have a good anti-slip unloading ramp- the animals do not have to climb up or down a steep ramp and no risk of slipping. The restraint box is illuminated from above with light, instead of being really dark as in many other plants. Cattle do not see well in the dark, they need 20 times longer than humans to adjust to darkness when moving from light to dark areas. Forcing them to enter a dark area causes a lot of unnecessary fear. There was a problem though at the entrance where water collects when the animals are unloaded from the truck. Cattle are hesitant to walk over this area due to the reflection it causes. We informed the people at this plant about this issue, asking them to fix this and have a drain. We also told them about other improvements to the way cattle are handled during restraint and slaughter and showed them what a captive bolt stunner looks like and what the welfare advantages are when animals can at least be rendered unconscious first. They want to read through our educational brochure on how to decrease suffering and read our papers about the essence and meaning of halal. Today was just a first introduction but we hope that it will lead to cooperation and trust in the future so that we can get concrete improvements in place for the animals, and maybe even stunning.