Animal Rights denounces cruelty to pigs in Tielt (West Flanders) abattoir
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    Animal Rights denounces cruelty to pigs in Tielt (West Flanders) abattoir

    © Belga
    Cruelty to pigs during slaughtering is in the spotlight in the proceedings being taken by Animal Rights against the Tielt (West Flanders) abattoir.
    © Belga

    The animal welfare organisation, Animal Rights, is taking legal proceedings against the Tielt (West Flanders) abattoir. It has submitted the appropriate papers to the Bruges Public Prosecutor’s Office.
    It states this in a communiqué today (Thursday).

    The organisation filmed, in secret, “the fraudulent practices of Belgium’s largest abattoir.” It denounces the “unimaginable suffering” that the pigs are enduring. Animal Rights is demanding the immediate closure of the abattoir.

    The images show the acts of cruelty to which the pigs are subject, upon arriving at the Tielt (West Flanders) abattoir. The film also suggests the commission of offences under the animal welfare legislation at the time the pigs are slaughtered.

    The film, which lasts for five minutes shows, in particular, how pigs are given electric shocks. Moreover, Animal Rights says “We saw how pigs, which have already been maimed are brutally dragged by the ears. A pig, which is unable to walk, is dragged out of a lorry, literally with the help of chains around its paws.

    The organisation has further concerns. There is a legal obligation in Flanders to stun the animals before slaughter. However, several times in the film we see images of pigs that are completely slaughtered, without being stunned but then having their throat slit.

    Moreover, gas stunning used in an abattoir is not always efficient. In such cases, additional steps should legally be taken to anaesthetize animals intended for slaughter. Yet, in practice this is rarely carried out.

    For example, whilst being transported, some dead pigs are used regardless for a future commercial purpose when they ought, as a rule, to be withdrawn from the commercial market.

    In the film, we hear abattoir workers declare, “When the vet isn’t looking, a knife will do the job.”

    The Delhaize supermarket is an important customer of the Tielt (West Flanders) abattoir. A further issue concerning Animal Rights is that meat is sold by Delhaize under the label “Better for All.”

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times