Dutch authorities investigating abused pigs after animal rights group record secret footage
The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) will investigate the mistreatment of pigs during transport following undercover images obtained by animal rights organization Varkens in Nood. The footage shows pigs being kicked, beaten and assaulted with a stun gun as they are transported. A spokesperson for NVWA confirmed the investigation after a report by RTL Nieuws, which the authority will treat as a case of "animal abuse."
NVWA said that the case concerns "shocking images" and that "this way of handling pigs is completely unacceptable.” The authority will review the images. "If we can identify companies or individuals, we will also enforce what we can, because the behavior shown is not acceptable and shows that things are certainly not going well everywhere in the sector," the spokesperson said.
The NVWA stated that a stun gun may be used during the transportation of pigs "in very exceptional cases and under strict conditions.” The images showed that electric shock devices were "used structurally and incorrectly. For example, on the sensitive parts of the pig and also in situations where the pig has no room to move." The images also show that injured animals were transported when that is not allowed.
Varkens in Nood has started a petition for a complete ban against the use of electroshock weapons on animals. "The livestock sector is egregiously violating the law and is causing serious suffering. The minister must enforce much more strictly and commit to a complete European ban on tasers," said director Frederieke Schouten.
The animal rights organization concluded in February that animal welfare in some slaughterhouses was still poor. The situation often gets out of hand, especially when stunning and killing pigs, and there is too little supervision at the slaughterhouses, according to the organization.
Reporting by ANP