On the 8th of March 2021, Eyes on Animals found a parked-trailer with two wounded sows on board at the pig collecting center Lunteren . Unable to reason with the furious owner, Eyes on Animals immediately reported the case to the NVWA. Shortly after that, the Party for the Animals posed questions to the house of representatives about the findings of Eyes on Animals.
On May 31st, the responses arrived. Minister Schouten acknowledged that at least one of the sows in the trailer was legally unfit for transport and should not have been approved for transportation. At the same time, Schouten claims that the NVWA was not able to prove that the sows were in fact delivered to the Lunteren collection center and therefore was not able to take further action. The Ministers’ position not only questions the findings of Eyes on Animals, it also indicates that thorough research has not been done. Video images taken by Eyes on Animals clearly show the surrounding area of the truck (collecting center Lunteren). In addition, Eyes on Animals even documented the WhatsApp interaction with the owner shortly after our visit.
This is not the first time collecting center Lunteren has broken animal welfare rules. In 2009 the approval of the collection center was suspended due to fraud with the export of pigs. (1) The owner simply continued in the same location but under a different business name and new permit. (2, 3, 4) The fact that the Minister does not mention this in her answers is very disappointing to us. On top of that, in 2016 several sows with abscesses ( leading to advanced lameness ) were transported to a slaughterhouse in Belgium from this same place, showing a poor attitude of the owner that obviously is repeating itself. Recently The Veterinary Professional College agreed with Animal Rights that also the vet in question at Lunteren station should not have approved the animals for transportation. (5)
Eyes on Animals has sent in a legal enforcement request to the Dutch government authorities that a thorough investigation still takes place concerning the wounded sows, and that the responsible parties; the pig farmer, the transporter and collecting center Lunteren will receive the appropriate dissuasive penalty, so that such things do not repeat.