Netherlands: A Message From Lesley At ‘Eyes On Animals’ – Progress In Turkey.


Lesley is a personal friend and we have worked together on live export issues in the past.

Here is her Christmas message about the great work she has been doing (at Eyes on Animals – Netherlands) for animal welfare in Turkey;

Regards Mark

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Dear donors and friends,

I am writing from the airport in Istanbul, about to fly back home. I hope you don’t mind that I will only write in English.

Five years ago we started our project in Turkey to change the way animals were being treated inside slaughterhouses. Since then we have visited many slaughterhouses and witnessed unspeakable horrors. I am often asked how we do this work, facing such animal suffering. The answer is that we care too much to be able to now look away. Focusing on achieving results keeps us driven.

In 2019 we achieved a major breakthrough in Turkey. Who could have thought that two cattle slaughterhouses would now be stunning animals before slaughter? Who could have thought that we could now import captive bolt stunning pistols into Turkey? Putting stunning into practice in Turkey was a major step, and the most challenging one.

It took dozens of meetings with religious authorities, giving numerous talks at Turkish universities and to officials of the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture, editing hours of film material, visiting and inspecting Turkish slaughterhouses and educating their employees as well as organizing conferences for Turkish veterinarians and butchers. Now that the first major step has been taken, we just have to keep the ball rolling. In 2020, this will be one of our top priorities.

When I think back to the horrors of my first visit of a cattle slaughterhouse in Turkey in 2014, where French cattle were being chained by one leg, hoisted fully off the floor and left hanging like that for up to 2 minutes before having their throats cut open, I am so relieved to now know that change is possible.

Looking back at 2019
This year was a busy and intense year. Aside from Turkey, we were active in many other places to improve animal welfare and decrease suffering.

In Ghana, together with WACPAW, we improved conditions inside 5 slaughterhouses by teaching the butchers how to use a captive bolt pistol and giving them one. In Poland we trained over 80 Official Road Inspectors and stopped and fined dozens of animals trucks together.

In the Netherlands several major pig slaughterhouses invested in new equipment (industrial fans and roofed parking areas with shade) to help tackle heat stress in the summer. Two major egg companies in The Netherlands have fully abandoned the brutal commercial way of catching “spent” laying hens and switched over to the EonA upright method and now a UK company is also interested in it (we will be meeting with them in January).

Together with the French organization L214 we exposed the horrible cruelty in the trade of unweaned calves from Ireland via French control posts to veal farms in the Netherlands. One of the employees in France was prosecuted and the story got in major international press. Our inspections were reported in Le Monde, Le Parisien, Het Parool, de Volkskrant, BBC World, The Guardian, the Irish Times, NPO Radio 1 and more.




Dear donor, your generous support have made the improvements for all these animals possible. Thank you for believing in our efforts and for being patient with us. Your support gives me and my team the opportunity to spend our time and energy into what we all hold as being so important – to make this world a gentler place for animals.

We still do hope for a day when society peacefully switches over to an agricultural system not dependent on killing animals, but as long as there are animals inside barren barns, overcrowded trucks or frightening slaughterhouses, we will do our very best to make sure animal-suffering is noticed and decreased.

On behalf of everyone at Eyes on Animals, I wish you a joyous and peaceful winter holiday season.

On behalf of myself, I wish all of the hard-working volunteers and freelancers of Eyes on Animals a time to rest and look back on the achievements.

With warm wishes from us all at the Eyes on Animals office in Amsterdam,

Thank you for your support!

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Lesley Moffat
director of Eyes on Animals

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