SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Despite pledges from Dutch farm minister Carola Schouten to close abattoirs and increase fines for animal cruelty following revelations about conditions in Dutch slaughterhouses in 2018, the practice of boiling pigs alive still hasn’t been eradicated, Varkens in Nood has said.
The organisation, which has been lobbying for better circumstances for pigs for decades, based its claims on inspection reports dating from the beginning of 2018 to June 2019 and has started legal proceedings against one slaughterhouse.
Daily inspections are carried out in the 21 main slaughterhouses in the Netherlands while smaller ones are randomly checked. Inspectors found that in a number of cases, pigs were being placed in water at 60 degrees Celsius while still conscious, constituting ‘severe suffering’.
Other animals were kicked and beaten or weakened by infection through standing in their own excrement and urine. In one case, a live pig was found on the production line.
‘The only solution is independent camera monitoring of every slaughter line,’ spokesperson Frederiek Schouten of Varkens in Nood told RTL Nieuws. ‘And slaughterhouses which are caught out more than once should be closed immediately,’ she said.
Every year some 15 million pigs, 2 million cows and 500,000 sheep are killed in the Netherlands’ 180 slaughterhouses. Fines for breaking the law range from €500 for a ‘slight infringement’ to €10,000 for a very serious or repeat offences.