The Slovenia Times

Inspectors seek law change after abattoir misconduct revealed

Industry & Agriculture
Protest against animal treatment at a German abattoir. Photo: dpa/STA

The Slovenian Food Safety Inspectorate has called for a change of legislation after a video leaked by an animal rights organisation showed mistreatment of animals at yet another large abattoir.

Animal Enterprise Transparency Project, a Slovenian animal rights NGO, has published hidden camera videos from the abattoir of the Rače cooperative (KZ Rače) showing employees acting negligently.

Its activists found that in nearly half of all the electric shock stunning attempts, the current was too low, which means the animals were likely still conscious when they were slaughtered.

The organisation has previously disclosed standards violations at several other animal processing facilities.

The Food Safety Inspectorate launched proceedings as soon as the videos surfaced last week but the inspectors were not able to find irregularities since employees will not commit them in the presence of an inspector.

"We cannot plant cameras to see what is happening in the abattoir when we are not there," chief inspector Branko Podpečan said.

Based on the videos, the inspectors fined the persons responsible. "At first they admitted to the conduct but they later protested since they believe that the recordings were made illegally and that the court will not consider them as evidence."

The inspection intends to take the matter to court "to find out how the courts treat such evidence in judicial proceedings," Podpečan said.

They will also propose changes to the animal protection act so that the slaughter procedures are either recorded or observed by an independent watchdog.

Currently this responsibility falls on the company employees but "they are not independent enough to effectively prevent misconduct," said Podpečan.

KZ Rače said they have always addressed any irregularities and would do so again once the results of the current inspection are final.

The company also supports law change. "We strive for strict standards on animal and food safety," they said.


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