Eyes on Animals visited the Heeswijck-Dinther pig collection centre in Brabant for the second time, again unannounced. Here pigs and sows are brought together from various regions, and a few hours later are reloaded and brought to slaughter – primarily to Vion slaughterhouse in Groenlo.
During the previous visit in November 2013, there were two sows that arrived in such poor condition that they had to be euthanized. Today there were three sows in the withholding stall (for animals that are in a weaker or abnormal condition) but according to the NVWA inspector who coincidentally passed by right after we arrived, were fit enough to be further transported towards the slaughterhouse. One them had an infected and bleeding ear but aside from that could walk easily and appeared alert, the other two each had difficulty putting pressure on one of their limbs. They walked slowly and showed signs of some pain. The owner of the station felt that it was due to an infection inside the leg.
Again the owner of the collecting station was willing to receive us and let us look around at our own pace as long as we didn´t take any photos. We will be stopping by this collection centre for a short visit every now and then to help ensure that transporters and farmers are respecting the requirements of only loading animals that are really fit enough for transport.
We would like to thank the owner and the NVWA for the discussion we held with them afterwards.