Animal Rights has discovered hidden camera footage showing sick and injured cows being delivered to a German butchery to be slaughtered. The group noted that slaughtering such animals for public consumption is illegal and warned that the meat could end up in Belgian supermarkets.
However, Belgium’s national food-safety agency, AFSCA (Agence fédérale pour la sécurité de la chaîne alimentaire), says “no illegal meat has been delivered to a Belgian company and there is absolutely no danger for public health”.
Animal Rights shared footage from the German animal rights organization Soko Tierschutz showeing sick and injured dairy cows being taken to the abattoir. The animals were being towed towards trucks and sometimes kicked.
“Weak animals “should be slaughtered urgently on the farm,” says Animal Rights’ Els Van Campenhout. “They may not be transported. The meat may not be sold or consumed.” The meat from the animals seen on the video footage may have made its way into Belgian supermarkets through a Dutch meat processor, she added.
According to AFSCA, the German authorities alerted Belgium to the animal-welfare problems at the abattoir in question. All carcasses exported to Belgium were inspected by the veterinary officials, after which they were declared fit for human consumption, the agency said, adding that it carried out a second inspection of the meat and obtained the same result.
“There was thus a double control. Both by the German authorities and by AFSCA in Belgium,” the agency’s spokesperson, Liesbeth Van De Voorde, said. “Animals must be treated as humanely as possible and their suffering is unacceptable.”