Corlu slaughterhouse was the first slaughterhouse in Turkey to offer their customers the option to render their cattle unconscious (via a stunner) before hoisting them up by their legs and cutting their throats.
In all other Turkish slaughterhouses it is customary to slaughter cattle without stunning them first; their throats are cut while fully conscious and they suffer form great pain. For this reason, we are very proud of Corlu for accepting and practicing stunning in order reduce some of the suffering during slaughter. Today we returned to Corlu slaughterhouse to conduct a follow-up inspection. We wanted to check if their pneumatic stunning equipment (EFA 315 from Germany and air compressor from Can Tek) is still in use and working well and to see if they made improvements to their restraint box, as we had requested last time. Unfortunately, the EFA 315 stunner is still not working 100% reliably and we are unsure of why. Sometimes the bolt comes out, sometimes it doesn’t and often does not retract. We are in contact with EFA and their Turkish representative, Can Tek, to try and get them to go to Corlu to evaluate and fix the problem asap.
Overall, the Corlu slaughterhouse manager has taken positive steps and shown a progressive attitude towards improving animal welfare. However, today we were very disappointed to see that he still had not modified the restraint box. And even worse, that one worker repeatedly hit the stomach of a bull (with Hungarian ear tags) with big chains to move him into the restraint box and then stabbed him in his spine, at the back of his neck, to paralyze him. The bull fell down immediately but was still fully conscious. His eyes were extremely fearful. He was then hoisted up by one leg and had his throat cut while fully conscious. We had a serious talk with the manager about this practice, who admitted that they sometimes do this to large bulls when the workers are scared of them. The manager has now promised to put an end to this incorrect and horrible handling procedure and to modify the restraint box by the time we return in the fall.