An EoA team revisited VION Boxtel during the heat wave. After years of insistence from EoA , VION has now taken measures to protect pigs in the waiting livestock trucks. Partly due to our advice, Vion has purchased both larger and double fans, and has installed a roof in the parking area with space for 9 livestock trucks with trailers they have also whitewashed the asphalt on which the trucks park. According to VION, this reduces temperatures by between 6 – 8 degrees. This asphalt is also kept wet. If the drivers are unable to park up in this new area, they continue to drive around or seek a shaded place elsewhere until a space becomes available, thus helping to maintain cooler temperatures inside the trailers. VION also closed it gates to the trucks earlier than normal: On the day we visited, the last trucks arrived at 12 noon and by 11 am over the following two days. These improvements will benefit the pigs.
We are happy that VION has finally responded positively to our advice and to our insistence that the pigs will suffer less from heat stress. However, it is still insufficient because it is part of a change process. Eyes on Animals also wants a stop to transport when temperatures rise to 27+ degrees. If that fails, we would like to see a work schedule adjusted for a tropical climate, so animals are transported at night when it is cooler.
In addition, we want a larger lairage at Vion, so that when the pigs arrive at the slaughterhouse they are unloaded immediately rather than being held on the trucks.
The capacity of slaughterhouses has expanded over the years, but unfortunately, the waiting areas for the pigs has not. EoA hope this issue is addressed sooner rather than later.
See also our report: Op de Bres tegen Hittestress.