Today we inspected the collecting center Busser in Bennekom. We were pleased that, despite us showing up unannounced, the manager still welcomed us and gave us a small tour. During our visit there was not a lot of activity. There were a few pigs and piglets destined for transport to slaughter. In the pens there was some sawdust to prevent slipping and to keep the pigs clean. All pigs had access to water. Several piglets had abnormalities, like umbilical fractures, a slight limp or bitten tails. Often these piglets with such abnormalities are collected for slaughter in other countries, like Spain, as Dutch farmers would rather not fatten them because they grow slower and are worth less once slaughtered. Legally it is allowed to transport “slightly ill or injured” animals as long as transport does not cause further suffering. These open norms/vague terms in practice often lead to discussion about what is allowed or not.
Aside from pigs, Busser also collects cattle, calves and horses. On a weekly basis horses are collected for slaughterhouses in Belgium and Germany. Busser is the first officially registered collecting center for horses in The Netherlands. We gave Busser some advice on how to reduce stress during the loading and unloading of animals and will remain in touch with him about this.