VION is one of the world’s biggest producers of pig meat and has many slaughterhouses. Its main office in in the Netherlands as it is a Dutch-owned company. Eyes on Animals met with them to find out why they are not participating yet in the project of totally phasing out pig castration in the Netherlands. They explained that they would also like to stop castration but that 60-70% of their market is for export to countries they say “vehemently insist on pigs being castrated to avoid any risk at all of boar- tainted meat reaching their supermarket shelves”.
Germany is the main culprit, consuming large amounts of pig meat but, according to Vion, not willing to budge on the castration issue. Many other Dutch slaughterhouses, and one German one, are using professional “sniffers” that smell the meat to detect for boar taint before it leaves the plant. Vion says its foreign clients are not accepting this method (of using professional sniffers) as being adequate enough to guarantee no customers complaints.
Interestingly enough, the many slaughterhouses slaughtering intact boars and currently using professional sniffers have not encountered any problems yet and sound very positive about this change. Eyes on Animals seriously questions if all the fuss around boar taint is not exaggerated and based on irrational fear or non-motivation to change the logistics of the plants and industry.