Minister intervenes after yet more abuses at Dutch slaughterhouses

Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture is intervening at Dutch slaughterhouses after another undercover video was published showing workers at a slaughterhouse in IJsselstein beating pigs and pulling crippled animals by the tail. Schouten was shocked by the video. "You cannot use violence against animals. This is unacceptable," she said to RTL Nieuws.

The video was released by RTL Nieuws on Friday. It shows slaughterhouse employees beating the animals in their care, sometimes with inspectors from Dutch food safety authority NVWA watching on or even participating. 

The Minister therefore decided it was time to intervene. She will slow down the production speed at which animals is slaughtered, so that NVWA inspectors can properly monitor animal welfare. The emphasis is currently too much on cost savings and that comes at the expense of animal welfare, she said. She will therefore come up with standards that slaughterhouses must adhere to. She is also in the process of introducing CCTV surveillance in slaughterhouses. 

Schouten will also ask the NVWA for clarification about the presence of their inspectors in the shocking video, she said. 

The NVWA already announced that it will launch an internal investigation into the matter. "Beating pigs is not allowed. Certainly a NVWA veterinarian should not do that," the NVWA said in a written response to RTL. 

Earlier this month the NVWA reported multiple cases in which pigs in slaughterhouses were not killed properly and suffered terribly as a result.