Shocking footage from Dutch slaughterhouse: pigs and cows tortured

Pig tortured by employee from slaughterhouse Gosschalk, still from video Varkens in Nood
Pig tortured by employee from slaughterhouse Gosschalk, still from video Varkens in Nood

Employees of slaughterhouse Gosschalk in the Dutch city Epe tortured pigs and cows before they were slaughtered, undercover footage from animal welfare organization Varkens in Nood, released on Monday, showed.

Last year, a Varkens in Nood (Pigs in Need) researcher worked undercover for a month at the Gosschalk slaughterhouse and filmed horrific actions. Pigs and cows were kicked and beaten hard, dragged by their ears and given continuous electric shocks.

During his training, the researcher was warned about camera surveillance; employees pointed out the blind spots where they could torture animals without being filmed. He was also urged to hit the animals harder to make them move faster.

Our undercover footage makes it painfully clear that the horrific beatings in this slaughterhouse are not incidents. They are a direct result of failing supervision and an extremely animal-unfriendly corporate culture, Varkens in Nood said.

The owners of the slaughterhouse are fully responsible for this daily animal suffering, which is why we are reporting them for abuse, they added. In addition, they call on Carola Scouten, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, to close the Gosschalk slaughterhouse.

Thousands of pigs and hundreds of cows are slaughtered every day in this slaughterhouse in Epe, one of the biggest slaughterhouses in the Netherlands.

“During my introduction, it was already said that it costs 100 euros per minute if the slaughtering proces is shut down,” the researcher told the Dutch news channel RTL Nieuws. That’s why they use too much extreme violence so that the animals move faster and the slaughter line keeps going, he added.

Slaughterhouse under supervision
Since the video was released, the slaughterhouse has been placed under stricter supervision by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NWVA), responsible for the well-being of farm animals.

The slaughterhouse said they were shocked by the footage. But the Dutch animal welfare organization Eyes on Animals, which focuses on reducing the suffering of farm animals during transport and slaughter, had offered to advice Gosschalk on animal welfare many times, but they always refused.

“Slaughterhouse Gosschalk has shown Eyes on Animals the door for five years, and now that they are in trouble, we are suddenly welcome. We are not going along with their ‘Greenwashing’ plan,” they said on Twitter.

Politician Tjeerd de Groot wants clarification from the minister and is appalled by the abuse in the slaughterhouse. “We simply cannot tolerate this any longer, it happens too often,” he said.

Warning: The following footage made by Varkends in Nood may distress some viewers.

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