The Netherlands is the largest animal trader in the world

#dierenleed There would never be hunger in Europe again, said politicians fifty years ago. But their huge livestock subsidies resulted in large surpluses of chickens, pigs, cows and other animals. They are now being shipped all over the world, alive and under horrific circumstances.

Our country is the largest animal trader in the world. In 2017, the Netherlands exported 350 million chickens, 12 million pigs and a further 1 million other animals. The transport conditions can be horrific: in June last year it came out that the Netherlands had put crippled pigs and pigs with abscesses the size of a football on transport to slaughterhouses in Germany and Belgium. An employee of the Dutch Food and Commodities Authority said at the time: 'The controls are nothing. Everything is aimed at not getting in the way of exports. '

Live animal exports have doubled worldwide over the past ten years, according to research by The Guardian. In 2017, two billion live animals were transported. Every day, 5.5 million chickens, pigs, cows, goats and sheep are trapped in overcrowded trucks and ships. The transports can take hours, or even weeks depending on the distance. Australian veterinarian Lynn Simpson, who lived on livestock vessels for years, reports that during extreme heat a sheep had a body temperature of 47 degrees: “The fat of this animal had melted, as if the animal was boiling inside.”