Friday 10 July 2020

Pigs beaten in undercover images from Dutch slaughterhouse

An animal welfare group has published undercover footage of pigs in a slaughterhouse being beaten with paddles and an apparently crippled animal being pulled by the tail.

Ongehoord claims that the hours of images were made in August 2019 by ‘Johan’, a volunteer for the group working at the Westfort slaughterhouse in IJsselstein.

The slaughterhouse, whose website says it sells ‘sustainable meat from the Netherlands’ told RTL Nieuws that it was investigating the images and implementing immediate measures to ensure poor treatment does not happen in future.

‘Harsh herding and beating pigs isn’t allowed and shouldn’t be allowed,’ it said in a statement. ‘We take full responsibility for this and will implement [a set of] measures. The permanent camera supervision will also be intensified and a team including two of our own vets will monitor the images.’

However animal welfare experts told RTL Nieuws that beating animals in order to herd them – especially using the sharp side of a paddle – would count as ‘abuse’ and contravene European guidelines.

Carla Schouten, agriculture minister, called the images ‘unacceptable’ and pledged to reduce the speed of slaughter at such factories.

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