Yesterday we finally got the call from the boss on Kera Abattoir Enterprises and he told us that we could come in the afternoon to visit the slaughter. He had arranged with a man that was supposed to guide us, Tekola, and he was so nice to us. He took us everywhere and told us a lot of the history. The abattoir was built in 1950 so you can imagine how the standard is. Right now they are planning to build a new one and the process will start in the spring 2013. They have around 1200 employees and 700 of them are participating in the slaughter process. There is no women employed, only men. It was a big hall with space for 48 animals to be slaughtered at the same time and they have different halls for Christians and Muslims slaughter, although when we asked the difference he told us there were none. In total there are two big halls to slaughter cattle in and two smaller rooms to slaughter sheep in. The slaughter was so different from Sweden; unfortunately we can’t show you any pictures since we have made a promise to the head manager not to show anyone, except from our papers. But I can describe how it is done.
First they take a knife and stab in the neck of the steer or ox, which is to cut of the nerves so they will fall down on the floor. Usually they don’t stab on the right place at once so it will take like 3-5 stabs before the animals fall down. It is important to tell you that the animals are not unconscious or anything, it is just to make them fall down. In the moment they are falling on the floor, the slaughter man stab them 2-4 times again, actually we don’t know why they did this. When they are lying on the floor, they push their head back and stand on their cheek. After that they cut of their head with approximately 10-15 cuts. Sometimes, the animal is lying on the floor for several minutes before they cut their head off. Then the animals are lying on the floor and the blood flows out before they begin to undress them and hang them on hooks. They take off the hooves and head and throw them in a whole, actually we never went down to look what they did with it but next time we might do. The carcass is then transferred to a room for inspection before they are loaded on the trucks. There is no cooling room for the meat, it is as hot inside that it is outside (yesterday around 25oC). The trucks then deliver the meat to the butcheries around Addis Ababa.
We got a lot of pictures and movies, and also the information from Tekola was really good. We will come back next Tuesday to visit once more and then on Friday we will go with the butcher and collect 20 animals on one of the markets here in Addis. After that we will visit the abattoir approximately 5 more times to do the behavior study in the lairages, where they are collected before slaughter.
Our best friend Israel came back to school yesterday after three weeks in sickness. He had spent two weeks in hospital and one weak at home after a kidney infection and some spinal cord problem. We have been so worried for him because the hospitals here don’t exactly have the standard that we are used to. But now he’s finally healthy and we are so happy to see him! We bought a bracelet for him and also printed one of his pictures, yeah we spoil him but I think you are free to do it when someone is sick.
Now we are going to school to leave in an assignment that we have done on Cement Industry and its impact on the environment, in the course Environmental Engineering. We know now the date for the final exam in Economic Geography, 6th of June. And we are going on a field trip with this class the 8th of June – really excited for that!