Eyes on Animals helps slaughterhouses in Turkey to stun before slaughter

Man stuns a sheep, photo: Eyes on Animals
Man stuns a sheep, photo: Eyes on Animals

Six slaughterhouses in Turkey have decided to stun their animals before slaughtering them according to Islamic law. Stunning animals before slicing their throat causes them less pain and suffering.

Animal welfare organization Eyes on Animals has been working in Turkey to help improve slaughter methods to harm animals as little as possible.

The essential criteria Muslims should follow when slaughtering an animal are: the animal cannot suffer for too long, the animal must not see any blood from another animal, the animal must be killed by a knife as sharp as a surgical knife and the animal should not be abused or have suffered while living.

Imam Yalçın İçyer explained to Eyes on Animals that rendering animals unconscious (insensitive to pain) before cutting their throats and de-bleeding them is the correct thing to do according to Islam.

Since 2013, Eyes on Animals has been working at improving slaughterhouses in Turkey. “Several plants were keen to work with us and made improvements, such as making the floors anti-slip, installing water troughs in the waiting pens, making the walls of the raceway solid,” Eyes on Animals says on their website.

“But what was a much more challenging improvement to get in place was getting the animals rendered unconscious before having their throats cut,” they say.

Seven years later, they got all the legal paperwork done to be able to send captive bolt pistols to Turkey. Captive bolt guns, also known as stunners or stun guns, are devices for stunning animals.

Eyes on Animals also trained the workers of six slaughterhouses on how to use them on cows and sheep. The animals at those slaughterhouses now stun the animals before cutting their throats, leaving them with less stress, fear and anxiety.

“Many Imams and religious groups are in favor of stunning now that we have spent so much time meeting and talking to them about animal welfare and the workers’ safety advantages,” they say.

Eyes on Animals strives to reduce as much farm-animal suffering as possible during transport and slaughter. They work in Europe, Turkey and Ghana.

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