Target: Ziyad Shbib, Governor of Beirut
Goal: Improve animal welfare and conditions for animals in slaughterhouses
A recent food scandal has created an opportunity for several Lebanese animal welfare groups to pursue improving conditions for animals at slaughterhouses in Lebanon. Several of these slaughterhouses have been under scrutiny for years due to health concerns. This isn’t simply an animal rights issue. If the animals at a slaughterhouse aren’t being treated properly, the food supply is always at risk of being contaminated. The conditions at Lebanon’s slaughterhouses must be improved immediately before any more people or animals are made to suffer.
Health Minister Wael Abu Faour initiated the scandal when he revealed the names of several supermarkets and restaurants that have been selling contaminated products. In response, Ziyad Shbib, the governor of Beirut, ordered the temporary closure of the Karantina slaughterhouse until it is updated to meet food safety standards. Following the closure of Karantina, three more slaughterhouses and a chicken farm were also closed, including Tripoli’s main slaughterhouse. The animal welfare group Animals Lebanon is hoping the scandal will convince government officials to pass a comprehensive animal welfare law that was submitted to the Cabinet earlier this year. The law would improve a variety of animal welfare issues, including regulations for slaughterhouses.
Peter Stevenson, chief policy adviser for Compassion in World Farming (CIFW), met with several government officials in Beirut in an effort to bring attention to animal welfare reform and also to try to ensure that when the slaughterhouses reopen, animal welfare will be a primary consideration. “What we would say, and I think we’re very backed up by science on this: If you’ve got bad welfare conditions, you’re also going to have bad food safety,” Stevenson said. CIWF has been pushing for the closure of the Karantina slaughterhouse for nearly two years. The animals in Karantina have no protection under the law and, as a result, are subjected to any number of abuses. Workers who are untrained in how to properly slaughter animals hang cattle by their legs and leave them there for long periods of time, often over puddles that have collected from the blood of other animals.
It isn’t simply the abuse either. The treatment these animals are forced to endure is a direct threat to human safety. Please sign the petition below and demand that Lebanon pass legislation to improve conditions at its slaughterhouses for the good of both animals and humans.
Dear Governor Shbib,
The recent announcement that several supermarkets and restaurants throughout Lebanon have been selling contaminated meat has led to even more alarming information about the conditions at the slaughterhouses that produced the contaminated products. The conditions at these slaughterhouses are deplorable. Many of the workers don’t even know how to properly slaughter an animal, nor do they exhibit any effort to sedate or calm the animal first. Their solution is to hang them from the ceiling for hours, or even days, before killing them.
Not only are these conditions an appalling example of animal cruelty, they have, and will continue, to put the public at risk. Animal welfare has a direct correlation to food safety and this cannot continue. Please pass legislation to improve the conditions for animals at Lebanon’s slaughterhouses.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: kinterralynn via Flickr