Eyes on Animals is given permission by the transport company VAEX to observe the loading of piglets onto one of their livestock trucks today. The piglets will be transported to fattening farms in Germany. Today the piglets will be loaded from two different Dutch farms. Eyes on Animals has already watched the loading of “slaughter” pigs, and acknowledges that loading piglets is much calmer. Because they are still young, curious and very agile, they allow themselves to be moved forward easily. The piglets today were moved in small groups of 20 at a time and in a calm manner towards the inside of the transport truck. Even when foreign piglets were mixed with the group before being loaded, there was very little fighting or exitation. Hierachical fighting is a very serious welfare problem during the transport of older pigs, particularly slaughter-age boars. Moving pigs in a calm manner, always in small groups, and giving them time to explore the new territory helps reduce their stress during loading. Eyes on Animals was very satisfied with the VAEX workers today, who proved to use natural animal behaviour to move them, instead of prods and shouts. Eyes on Animals is impressed with the transparent and open way Vaex has been working these past 1,5 years and would like to thank them, plus the owners of the two Dutch farms for their respectful and warm welcome to Eyes on Animals and for answering all of our questions and concerns. Vaex was long known as a transport company getting into trouble with foreign veterinarian and police inspectors, as well as NGO inspectors that previously trailed their trucks. We are very happy to see that Vaex is turning around its reputation and taking many significant and conscious steps to improve the welfare of the animals it transports. We wish to congratulate them for this.
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