A pig that is dragged by the ear in the video Varkens in Nood

Animal rights activist, who infiltrated a slaughterhouse in Epe for 20 days, was continuously filmed by cameramen mistreat pigs and other animals by repeatedly hitting them with paddles and giving them electric shocks.

The images, which were seen by RTL Nieuws, was taken on behalf of the Varkens pig charity in Nood. It shows how workers at the Gosschalk slaughterhouse went to great lengths to hide their actions from NVWA inspectors and warned new arrivals not to mistreat animals in front of cameras.

The activist, named Robin by RTL, said abuse is a daily reality at the factory.

The images were recorded at the end of last year. The Gosschalk slaughterhouse is one of the largest in the Netherlands and kills 5,000 pigs and 600 cattle a day.

Food safety inspectors have since responded to the slaughterhouse, imposing additional camera surveillance and a ban on the delivery of live animals unless an inspector is on site. The company has also suspended its staff and said it will reduce the speed at which live animals are processed.

Robin said the rules were broken in order to treat as many animals as possible. “When I was introduced to the job, I was told that it costs € 100 per minute if the production line is down… and that means treating as many pigs, animals as possible.


NVWA Inspector General Maarten Ruys told RTL the footage was “disgusting”. “I am really shocked by this,” he said. “We’ve had this business on the radar longer and it has already received warnings and fines due to animal welfare issues, but we didn’t know it was that bad.”

Animal medicine professor Len Lipman told RTL the mentality, expertise and attitude of people working in slaughterhouses need to be improved. “If you don’t understand animals and understand that they also feel pain, you could be having this kind of behavior,” he said.

Legal action

Varkens in Nood director Frederieke Schouten said the suffering that animals endure “is due to our desire to slaughter them as efficiently as possible to get meat as cheap as possible.

The NGO took legal action against Gosshalk and set up a petition demanding the closure of the factory. “We believe that management should be punished because they are responsible for ensuring that their employees treat animals properly.

The animal rights party PvdD also called on Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten to intervene. “These are not excesses or incidents, this is structural abuse because of the way production was set up … focused on making the most money possible at the lowest price. possible, ”said MP Leonie Vestering.

In particular, the party said the speed at which slaughterhouses operate should be reduced immediately.

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