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Horrifying slaughter of EU animals revealed

News Section Icon Published 25/02/2014

An investigation by Compassion in World Farming with Animals Australia has exposed horrifying slaughter conditions for European animals exported to Turkey and Middle Eastern countries.

Video footage from the investigation is available (viewer discretion is advised as the content is disturbing) which documents brutal handling at abattoirs and on the streets in Jordan, Turkey and the West Bank. As well as evidence we released at the end of 2013 showing appalling cruelty to European animals at a slaughterhouse in Beirut.

Compassion's Investigation Unit witnessed animals in slaughter houses forced violently into position, being dragged by their tails, legs, fleeces and even eye sockets.*

Some animals were strung up with chains, their whole body weight on one leg.** European cattle being slaughtered at an abattoir in Turkey were restrained in mechanical boxes which invert them upside down to cut their throats. Once their throats have been cut they are then dropped onto the bodies of other dying animals whilst still conscious.

Other animals face a slow and terrifying death on the streets.

Animals are handled brutally being pulled out of the backs of vehicles without ramps. They are bound by their feet, tripped over with ropes and contorted into position and tied to the ground or pinned down by large groups of people with no evident training in good slaughter techniques.

Often, animals have their throats hacked at with blunt knives until their throats are cut. They can remain conscious for several minutes after having their throats cut.

Dil Peeling, Director of Campaigns at Compassion, said "This callous trade in live European animals is unacceptable. Animals are being slaughtered in conditions of unimaginable cruelty. These horrifying scenes of inept slaughter means EU animals are subjected to terrible suffering at the most vulnerable moment of their lives."

Compassion is calling on EU Agriculture Minsters in the five member states that export the most animals; Bulgaria, Romania, France, Hungary and Germany to provide practical support to countries to improve slaughter practises and to implement the international standards on the welfare of animals world organisation for animal health.

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*OIE recommendations Article 3.7.5.2(1e) prohibits the dragging of animals by body parts. This guideline was breached in the case of all the animals observed.

**OIE recommendations Article 3.7.5.2(3b.i) prohibits the suspending or hoisting of animals by the legs. It appears that all cattle in Karantina are hoisted by one rear leg before slaughter. Two cattle were hoisted by the rear leg and left suspended and conscious for the entire duration of our investigators visit; over one hour.