Dear Dr Vallat,
Compassion in World farming has just produced a new film entitled A Path to Better Futures?: the need for implementation of the OIE recommendations on animal welfare.
I understand that this film is too graphic to be released publically, but that it shows extremely disturbing footage of severe animal suffering taken in a number of countries – and makes it clear that there continue to be serious breaches of the OIE's recommendations on welfare during transport and slaughter.
I understand the film includes footage of the following:
- Cattle in an Egyptian slaughterhouse being beaten – very hard – on the head with a large pole while other animals have their leg tendons slashed.
- Also in Egypt, cattle being stabbed repeatedly in the neck until finally they collapse to the ground.
- And, in Indonesia, live cattle being unloaded from a ship. A crane is used to hoist them – hanging by their heads in groups of three – from the ship to a waiting truck.
These are not isolated cases. Compassion in World Farming has in recent years told the OIE about cruel slaughter practices that are in breach of the OIE recommendations in a number of countries, including several in the Middle East, Indonesia and Turkey.
Moreover, a World Bank report reveals serious animal welfare problems in a range of countries across the world. The report contains a litany of suffering and concludes that animal welfare at all the slaughter facilities visited “requires significant improvement”.
I am aware that the OIE recognises the challenges faced by its Member countries but would urge the OIE to do more to help its Members to implement its recommendations. I am pleased that the OIE plans to appoint an Animal Welfare Coordinator to help with implementation of the OIE recommendations in Indonesia and neighbouring countries. However, clearly more than one person is needed to tackle these problems, which are prevalent in many parts of the world.
I welcome the planned OIE global conference on animal welfare in November in Malaysia. Please ensure that this is not just another ‘talking shop’. It is vital that it produces a strong commitment by countries to comply with the OIE recommendations – and a clear action plan as to how animal welfare across the world can be radically improved.