Animal rights group criticises Dutch pension funds on factory farms

The massive Dutch civil service pension fund ABP is one of several investing millions of euros in factory farms in China, Thailand and Brazil, according to animal welfare campaign group Wakker Dier.

Research carried out on behalf of the charity shows ABP and eight other pension funds are investing in the production of intensively-reared chicken and pigs as well as battery eggs.

It is ‘absurd’ that the Dutch government bans Dutch factory farms from keeping hens in bare cages but that civil servants’ pensions are being invested in the same practice abroad, Wakker Dier says.

The organisation wants home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk to make public more information about APB’s investments. He should also ensure the pension giant – one of the biggest in the world – does not invest in activities abroad which would be illegal in the Netherlands, Wakker Dier said.


ABP said in a reaction it did not agree with Wakker Dier’s conclusions and that sustainability is a key part of its investment strategy.

‘Wakker Dier measures according to Wakker Dier’s standards,’ spokesman Harmen Geers told ANP. ‘We use independent research groups which come to different conclusions. We check if companies meet national and international rules.’

ABP has a total of €14m invested in battery hen farms, Heers said. He also disagreed that the fund is not transparent about its investments.

Last week, ABP was criticised for its investments in Israel.

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