Pigs were still transported to the slaughterhouse on the hottest day since 1944. It is with regret that the Animal welfare activist group, Animal Rights, informed the public of this. After midday on Wednesday, livestock transporters continued to arrive at the Vion slaughterhouse in Boxtel. Animal Rights released images and posted a video online on Thursday.
“It is clear that the heat protocol in its current form does nothing to protect the animals,” says Erwin Vermeulen, campaign leader for Animal Rights. “The considerations for cattle farmers, transporters and slaughterhouses are purely economic. The sector agreements have failed. It is time for the government to intervene. ”
Members of the animal welfare organisation filmed on Wednesday from 11.00 to around 12.30 at the Boxtel company. Lorries delivered several loads of pigs. The National Heat Plan for Livestock Transport states that lorries may not transport animals in temperatures of 35 degrees centigrade or higher.
Foaming at the mouth
“It was clear from the open mouths, superficial breathing and the foam around the lips that the pigs were already suffering from the heat on arrival,” says Vermeulen.
Reaction from Vion
At the Gilze-Rijen weather station, the thermometer reached 35.4 degrees around noon. “We stick to the Heat Plan,” says a spokesperson for Vion. “We start earlier, at four in the morning, and stop at noon.”
However, according to her, it could indeed be so that in the extreme heat at 12.30 on Wednesday trucks were received. “If they are already on the road, we will not make them turn around,” she says. “We also process all deliveries waiting here at noon.” According to her, heat measures were taken at the company. “We have a special roof, a carpet that is kept wet and fans.”
Translation: Nicole Cullinan