“Under the guidelines of Temple Grandin BPU’s proposal for humane ritual slaughter was designed to ensure the animal’s welfare, to offer a better quality product and to provide a safe working environment for employees, maintaining production efficiency,” the manager of BPU plant, Juan Carlos Jones, sums up.
One of the main ethical aspects which has prevailed in Breeders & Packers Meat Uruguay (BPU) from its beginning is to take maximum care of the welfare of its workers and animals. The plant was designed and built with this purpose, following the guidelines of Temple Grandin which seek to ensure everytime animals’ welfare, from their arrival at the plant, their stay at pens and subsequent slaughter. Adding up the certification in farming establishments, which one of their main objectives is animal welfare.
The current market has clients who increasingly demand high quality products, therefore, ethical considerations regarding animals’ welfare have become of great importance. The foregoing has directed BPU, from its design and construction, to give priority to this aspect. The same principles are to be followed when facing up extensions, refurbishments or improvements at the plant.
Following these demands, in 2014 BPU’s team set its sights on carrying out in its plant humane ritual slaughters for which it was necessary to develop methods for restraining animals according to that need.
“Our aim was to prepare a proposal which complied with 4 important aspects: to provide the highest animal welfare guarantees, to improve the
product’s quality, to provide a safe and comfortable working environment for employees and to maintain production efficiency,” the plant manager, Juan Carlos Jones, highlights.
Juan Carlos Jones
Juan Carlos Jones is married to Elena and has two daughters, Karen and Melanie. From 1983 to 1994 he worked at INAC, in the quality control department, from 1994 to 1998 he performed duties as Assistant Manager of Frigorífico Vizental S.A. (Entre Ríos, Argentina). From 1998 to 2009 he was the Plant Manager of Frigorífico Colonia S.A., currently belonging to the MARFRIG Group. From 2009 to 2013 he performed duties as a consultant on meat processing processes in Mexico, Canada and Nicaragua. From 31st July 2013 he is part of BPU’s managing team as Plant Manager.
In order to fulfil the challenging objective, BPU’s team worked for many months along with the company Otersin S.A. on the design and planning of what would be the first Humane Kosher slaughter in Uruguay, maintaining the animal standing in its regular position.
This process included the visit of Temple Grandin in October 2014, paying attention to every detail and providing guidelines for the design of the ritual slaughter boxes and surrounding areas for handling animals before the slaughter.
Temple Grandin is a zoologist, ethologist and professor at Colorado State University, with a PhD in Animal Science from the University of Illinois . She is als o author of the books “Thinking in Pictures ” and “Animals in Trans lation.” She defends fiercely animals ’ welfare. Her condition of autism, which allows her to interpret animal behaviour, has enabled her to design and renovate pens , tubes, clamps and slaughterhouses all around the world, including BPU.
In October 2014 Temple Grandin went around BPU plant together with the managing team. Here observing the box along with the plant manager Juan Carlos Jones. (Enlarge image)
The association BPU-OTERSIN S.A. designed and developed a special box for the humane ritual slaughter with a 100% Uruguayan technology, incorporating Temple Grandin’s guidelines and advices.
“Although other systems already used for this kind of ritual slaughters have succeeded in improving the worker’s wel fare, they have not been such effective in relation to production efficiency and product quality respecting animal welfare; this system is the one generating less stress to the animal,” Jones assures.
With the new implemented system meat quality improves significantly: it has PH acceptable levels, the appearance of petechiae is considerably reduced and meat colour is not affected which demonstrates that the animal’s stress is minimized during the ritual slaughter.
First humane Kosher slaughter
On Monday 13th July, the first humane Kosher ritual slaughter was carried out in BPU thus marking a historical fact for our company, as it is the first time that a ritual slaughter is carried out in Uruguay with a restraining method which maintains the animal in a standing position, using a 100% Uruguayan technology.
In BPU for the humane Kosher or HALAL ritual slaughter “we have designed pneumatically-operated boxes in such a way that allows having the animal’s
neck clamped in a correct position for the purposes of enabling the performance of the ritual slaughter in a completely safe manner for the Rabbi and BPU’S staff carrying out the task and avoiding the animal’s suffering,” Jones explained.
Both for BPU’s staff and Rabbies, who are working at the plant since July, this new type of slaughter was innovative; given its easiness of operation it was quickly accepted and after one week of trial it started being used at 100% of its maximum operative capacity.
Rabbies “are very happy with the slaughter pace, the quality of the product thus obtained and above all with the safety they feel working in this
manner,” Jones said.
Currently, in BPU the ritual slaughter doesn’t imply a change in the production pace, also maintaining the traditional slaughters.
The plant manager emphasized that “the work with the Kosher Team was incorporated perfectly normally. The slaughter is devel oped without difficulties and subsequent processes have already been incorporated to the normal production activity of the plant.”
The system for carrying out humane ritual slaughters was also approved on Friday 31st July by the Egypt Official Audit for performing HALAL slaughters.