Belgium’s largest abbatoir fined for infringements on animal welfare
Thursday, 19 December 2019
Both the manager of the slaughterhouse and the company have to pay a fine of €16,000 each. Credit: Belga
The Exports Slaughterhouse (Exportslachthuis) in the municipality of Tielt in the West Flanders province has been convicted for infringements on animal welfare and sentenced to a fine.
The slaughterhouse in Tielt, Belgium’s largest abattoir, came into disrepute in 2017, after the animal rights organisation Animal Rights published images, which were made by an undercover member of the organisation, showing pigs being kicked and pulled by the ears.
Both the manager of the slaughterhouse and the company have been ordered to pay a fine of €16,000 each, half of which as a postponed sentence of three years, for several infringements to the law on animal welfare during the period between March and November 2017, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.
However, the undercover images that brought the case to light were described by the judge as “illegally obtained evidence” for privacy reasons, and excluded from the case. The judge based his verdict on a report from the Animal Welfare Inspectorate. “The manager and the company were negligent in recruiting sufficient staff, and there was clearly a lack of infrastructure,” he said, reports Het Nieuwsblad.