Inspectors will act on mixed pig groups after welfare complaint

Pigs on a factory farm. Photo:
Pigs on a factory farm. Photo:

Government inspectors are to start ensuring pigs from different farms don’t end up in slaughterhouses at the same time, following a request for action from animal welfare campaign group Wakker Dier.

The organisation says that mixing different groups of pigs together often causes fights, leading to injury and therefore extra suffering for some animals. And, after asking for legal and scientific advice, government inspectors have agreed there is a problem and say they will now act.

By law, animals are supposed to be kept away from animals they don’t know as much as possible. And according to Wageningen University lecturer Liesbeth Bolhuis, fights are 100% likely if different groups are mixed.

Wakker Dier director Anne Hilhorst said the organisation is very happy with the inspectors’ rethink. ‘The NVWA has recognized that you cannot do this to pigs and that is the situation in law,’ Hilhorst said. ‘Up to now they did not want to tackle this.’

Slaugherhouses now have until August next year to adapt their processes or face fines. Wakker Dier says the transition period is too long and has appealed.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation