Pigs in Dutch slaughterhouses scream while cooked alive

Guys, we know it’s Friday and you want to get to your weekend. We want to relax too, we swear. But, when news like pigs being boiled while still alive in Dutch slaughterhouses comes out, we can’t just stand-by. This is appalling and needs to be heard. 

But first, no, this isn’t a vegan agenda. I’m happy living a life where I don’t have to think about what happens in slaughterhouses. I’ve avoided every documentary on Netflix that vegans have recommended because I just don’t like watching baby chicks be crushed in my spare time. I even eat bacon, although I’m reconsidering that now. Some things take it way too far.

Imagine pigs screaming, no squealing, screaming while violently drowning in a piping hot water bath. This was spotted at least six times by inspectors of Dutch slaughterhouses in the last eighteen months, reports RTL Nieuws. Awful, right? 15 million pigs reach their death each year in the Netherlands. That’s only 2 million shy of the entire Dutch population.

You can have a lot of debates about whether we should be eating animals in the first place. But, there’s no excuse for not even giving animals the right to a peaceful death. Documents released from animal rights organisation Varkens in Nood show that in some cases, pigs were not killed properly, and in some cases were conscious, before being cooked. That’s right, cooked alive.

“I saw several pigs thumping with their hind legs. I also saw that a pig threw its head back a little and started to fiddle violently. The animal was still alive,” wrote one inspector.

Checks and regulations

Pig slaughterhouses in the Netherlands are subject to a large amount of checks and regulations. In 21 of the largest slaughterhouses, a permanent inspector is installed. In smaller slaughterhouses, random checks occur. Yet, in both cases, it’s impossible for inspectors to be able to check every single slaughter to ensure it’s adequate.

It’s not just the killing that goes wrong either. There are records of some pigs being kicked and beaten. Some live in their own faeces and urine, resulting in such serious inflammations that they can’t even stand on their own legs. In one case, an inspector found a pig dumped in a cadaver bin – but the pig was still alive.

“I saw a pig sink into the hatchery basin and submerge it in the hot water of about 60 degrees. The animal kept rattling in such a way that the water gushed over the hatchery basin,” reads the report of another inspector.

According to Varkens in Nood, there are only two possible solutions. “Independent camera surveillance on every slaughter line,” says Frederiek Schouten of Varkens in Nood. “And a slaughterhouse that still goes wrong more than once must be closed immediately.”

What do you think of these violations? Part of the circle of life, or completely unacceptable? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: Mali Maeder/Pexels

Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.


  1. Seem to read of reports like this from countries around the world. Every time I am horrified and cannot understand why animals should have to suffer like this so that we can eat them. It is the year 2020, slaughterhouses should have the ability to kill animals quickly, quietly and humanely. One problem I expect is getting the right staff to do a terrible job, if they are caring people they wouldn’t want to do it. In which case it’s even more important to have inspectors there constantly and video footage of everything that goes on. Slaughterhouses should be closed down fast if they don’t comply.

  2. unacceptable anywhere in the world and with any animal. I don’t care for lobster being cooked alive either-how is any of that type of thing ok to begin with?? My father worked in a slaughter house & he made sure the animals were killed in an acceptable manner & were deceased before the next step. Is business so much about money now they care less about anything & anyone?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related posts

Latest posts

Budget Day 2021: moral of the story — we must wait to see big changes

It’s the third Tuesday of September. On this Prinsjesdag, King Willem-Alexander delivered his annual speech from the Hague with a reflection on last year’s...

Coronavirus in the Netherlands: all you need to know [UPDATED]

Coronavirus continues to sweep across the Netherlands and the globe. Here's up-to-date information, as it happens, on COVID-19 in Holland.  The Netherlands reported its first...

Weekly update: Dutch coronavirus infections continue to drop ahead of easing restrictions

The RIVM has released its weekly coronavirus figures from September 14 to September 21. The number of hospitalisations and deaths have decreased even further compared to...

The latest Dutch news.
In your inbox.