More than a thousand animals waiting for slaughter in Spanish abattoir

by Lorraine Williamson
Abattoir - over 1,000 animals waiting for slaughter

ANDALUCIA – 1,100 sheep and goats have been locked up in an abattoir in Andújar for weeks. The regional government of Andalucia temporarily closed the slaughterhouse as employees did not comply with the prescribed rules when slaughtering. 

Animals which had already been slaughtered were confiscated at the closure. But there were also live sheep and goats at the abattoir. Normally the animals are slaughtered within two or three days. Generally, the longer this takes, the weakest animals will die before slaughter under these conditions. 

On May 27, the Andalucian authorities banned the abattoir from continuing its activities. Animal welfare rules during slaughter were ignored, despite several official veterinarians issuing warnings. A spokesperson for the regional government confirmed this. Furthermore, not only was the care for animal welfare neglected, but hygiene rules were also not observed. 

Animals get food and water 

It is a halal abattoir where animals are slaughtered according to the regulations of the Koran. The meat is destined for export to Arab countries. An inspection on June 16 showed that the slaughterhouse had complied with the cessation of activities. Furthermore, the animals still living were provided with feed and water. Therefore, according to the Guardia Civil, none of the animals have succumbed to the situation. 

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Authorities have given permission to resume operations as soon as animal welfare and hygiene rules are complied with. This will be checked in the next 15 days, after which the ban on activities will only be definitively lifted. However, the abattoir will also come under the permanent supervision of veterinarians. 

‘Illegal and unfounded closure’ 

An employee of the slaughterhouse said the activities have always been carried out according to the rules. And that they only became discredited when a new veterinarian came into the picture. The halal slaughterhouse has since filed a complaint against this vet and the Andalucian authorities. 

According to a spokesperson, the cessation of activities is illegal and unfounded. According to him, the fact that 1,100 animals are still waiting alive for their slaughter is due to the regional government. If the closure could have been postponed for a few days, these sheep and goats could also have been slaughtered. However, a permit was issued to transfer the animals to another slaughterhouse. But when an alternative slaughterhouse was found, the permit was revoked again. 

Podemos has since put pressure on the Andalucian government to make a decision regarding the live sheep and goats. Animal organisation Equalia wants cameras in slaughterhouses in the future so that veterinarians can monitor what is happening inside. As a result, a decision on video surveillance will be made in the Spanish parliament at the end of this year. 

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