Today our team found a parked drag unit from Pali in the south of the Netherlands loaded with young piglets. The consignments were of so-called “residual piglets”. These are piglets that go to slaughter because of (minor) disorders, such as an umbilical hernia or bitten ears, and are therefore not fattened up. The unit was parked in direct sunlight. The driver picked up the drag unit about an hour later and attached it to his trailer. There were more piglets and three sows in the trailer. The sows had visible problems because of the heat. The outside temperature in the morning was around 29 degrees (in the sun).
We decided to follow the truck; because of the low loading density, it was quite likely that more piglets would be collected. This was indeed the case. The truck went to two more sites in Hapert where more piglets and sows were collected. When the second site was visited, the drag unit was again parked in direct sunlight.
At the second site we received permission to view the loading. This went quietly. We measured the temperature (at 13:00) and it was around 33 degrees. Such temperatures are a great risk for the pigs because they cannot adequately dissipate their heat. These high temperatures are especially a problem for sows.
The transport was followed to the export assembly point (EVP) Van den Boogaard in Veghel. Unfortunately, we were only allowed to watch the EVP from a distance and only briefly spoke with the manager. We were asked to make an appointment if we wanted to see more. We will do this in the near future.