In October 2007, pressure from various international humanitarian organizations working in the field of animal welfare, brought into focus the dire situation which exists within many of the country's facilities which handle animals. These organizations threatened to publicize the information if the Jordanian government did not take concrete steps to improve the situation. After a period of several months, no remedial action was seen to have been taken by local officials; footage of the maltreatment of animals in Jordan was aired, leading to an international outcry painting Jordan in an extremely negative light.
In response to this and in an attempt to redeem Jordan's international reputation, H.R.H. Princess Alia Al Hussein undertook the task of analysing the situation. Thus, the first great steps towards remedying the situation were taken. While conducting the situation analysis it became all too evident that there was an overlap in the responsibility of numerous official entities resulting in a lack of accountability and confusion which ultimately lead to an inefficient working environment.
The reality of what was happening in the slaughter houses was brought to light with the assistance of Animals Australia (www.animalsaustralia.org). The first steps towards addressing the situation were taken with the added assistance of Compassion in World farming (www.ciwf.org.uk). Many improvements have been achieved since, where all stakeholders have come together in order to create an effective, efficient and safe working environment as well as to ensure that all animals are being treated humanely.
The principle lies in the true principles and teachings of Islam. In fact, the Islamic directives on how to lead an animal to slaughter are all too clear, "Lead it in a 'beautiful way', and relax the animal. Offer it a drink of water and give it no indication of what is about to happen, such as seeing the weapon, seeing another being slaughtered and not confining or restricting it by tying its legs.
The immediate priority in this sector lies with creating a model Abattoir complete with functional equipment where all staff are highly trained on methods of slaughter. An essential element is in the provision of SOP's for the running of the slaughter house, inclusive of Quality Assurance management and also a strict and efficient meat inspection. This model abbattoir is one which already exists and will be upgraded in order to cover the North of the country at minimum cost, as there is no need to build a new facility. Once the procedures are in place and the facility is operational this model will be exported to the other facilities across the country.
In February of 2010, Mr. Jim Nolan, from Australia travelled back to Jordan to assist in the next phase of planning and rehabilitating the sector. Many issues were identified and a model for the new slaughter house in Maan was designed. The main theme behind Mr. Nolan's designs is to create facilities with maximum output and efficiency at minimum cost on a needs basis. The government of Jordan is committed to seeing the reform go forward and are now in further negotiations with Mr. Nolan with the support of PAF.