Environmental and Animal Protection

The renowned author, Dr Helmut Kaplan, wrote the article “The Betrayal of Animals” (Entire text available http://www.vegetarismus.org/kaplan/texte/a214.htm). Here is an extract which begins with a reference to Ms Haupt’s visit to the slaughterhouse:
“The fact that Ms. Haupt did not visit a particularly bad abattoir at a particularly unfavourable time was proven visually in 2001 by a 12 minute video tape showing an ordinary run-of-the-mill day in an abattoir. It was not filmed by hidden cameras, but during an officially authorised appointment in an EU-certififed abattoir in the border region between northern Austria and Bavaria. 

A key scene: “A powerful bull, hoisted into the air by chains around its hind legs, hangs upside down above the conveyer belt – seemingly dazed by the stun gun. The butcher slits its throat with a large knife and a gush of blood erupts. ( … ) Suddenly, something occurs which makes the observer cringe: As the butcher whistles whilst slitting open its chest, the animal’s eyes slowly open and close. And then the bull begins to bellow – clearly audible on the video: a dreadful, hoarse, gurgling lowing rises above the noise of the slaughter process. Finally the blood-covered animal struggles on the hook a few more times. The butcher, who has already cut off the front hoofs, must duck out of the way. The death throes last for long minutes.”

This gruesome scene is, as stated, an everday one in an abattoir (and the abbatoir where the scene took place is even supposed to be a “model company”, so that it must be deduced that it is even more brutal elsewhere): Out of the 30 animals tranquilised here over the course of an hour, 6 of them woke again.

A revision of the video (which was shown by many German TV channels), which included scenes not previously shown, unearthed more grisly details: “In the new edition one does not only see the bull bellowing while it writhes in agony for minutes on end. When the butcher uses a hose to wash the blood off him and the slaughter area the wretched animal attempts, with its tongue outstretched and last remaining strength, to strain towards the stream of water.The pictures clearly document the fact that these animals are fully conscious. They still experience their environment as they are cut up and processed into meat.”

The actual reason behind the ineffectual stun-gun anesthesia – in addition to the constant scandal of lack of control and mass anaesthetizing – are the changes which BSE has introduced to methods of slaughter: since the beginning of 2001 the application of the so-called “destroyer of spinal marrow” has been prohibited by the EU, as with this method potentially infected nervous tissue might be distributed throughout the whole body. A bar was been inserted through the bullet hole into the spinal marrow, which made brain death irreversible and the animal free of pain. By abandoning the use of the destroyer of spinal marrow unsatisfactory results have been predictable, according to Ingrid Schütt-Abraham of the German Federal Institute for Hygienic Consumer Protection and Veterinary Medicine. On the other hand, according to veterinarian Karl Wenzel of the Munich Ministry for Consumer Protection, abandoning the practice has brought to light the fact that defective stunning does occur, and that with some animals stun-gun anesthesia is simply not sufficient. Klaus Troeger of the German Federal Institute of Meat Analysis in Kulmbach says on this issue: Before the EU’s enactment in January 2001, i.e. before the destroyer of spinal marrow was prohibited, problems caused by incorrectly placed stun-gun shots had been “concealed”: