Animal Rights unveiled on Tuesday images that it claims to have filmed last July with a hidden camera at the Verbist slaughterhouse in Izegem, showing pictures with cattle receiving blows or electric shocks. The video, which is the subject of an article in De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws today (12 September), shows also how cattle are suspended and slaughtered, following the normal procedures of a slaughterhouse. Some of them still seem partially or totally conscious at the time of the slaughter, because they were not properly stunned according to the organization.
“The images of the cattle filmed in the stunning box testify to intense panic reactions. The animals have seen the slaughter of their fellows and perceive how they are suspended and slaughtered,” according to Animal Rights. Some terrified cattle tried to climb out of the box.
The animal rights organization also noted the routine use of a Taser gun by one of the workers on cattle headed for the stunning box. He repeatedly used the electric shock device on the sides and anus of animals, something which is prohibited by law.
The president of Animal Rights, set up as a ASBL in Belgium in 2015 and also present in the Netherlands, states that the organization will file a complaint to the Flemish animal welfare authority and require the closure of the Izegem slaughterhouse.
The Verbist company, contacted by De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws, responded via its director Louis Verbist, who claimed that his slaughterhouse operates according to the rules. “These videos reinforce my ambition to focus even more on animal welfare,” said the Flemish minister Ben Weyts, who is in charge of among others animal welfare.