Vion is responsible for the death of 15 million pigs and almost one million cows per year. We'll list some facts below.
55-60% of Dutch pig farmers and 35-40% of German pig farmers have animals slaughtered by Vion. Boxtel is the largest pig slaughterhouse of Vion. 20,000 pigs are killed here per day. Vion also has pig slaughterhouses in Apeldoorn, Groenlo, and Scherpenzeel (moved to Boxtel). Valkenswaard has recently been relocated. In addition, there are eight slaughterhouses in Germany (Altenburg, Crailsheim, Emstek, Landshut, Perleberg, Vilshofen, Ahlen and Holdorf).
How the slaughter process works is explained by Arjan Lubach, Vion themselves, as well here, and by Animal Rights. Pigs are stunned by gas before their throats are being cut. A description of this process can be read at Eyes on Animalsand can also be seen here. Every year pigs suffer on transport during heat waves. In August 2020 Animal Rights filmed pigs with obvious heat stress. Earlier, in 2016, Eyes on Animals stated that Vion Boxtel let the pigs wait far too long in trucks where temperatures can reach 45 degrees.
De Groene Weg - Vion's organic showpiece - slaughters 100,000 pigs a year (0.6% of Vion's total: the share of 'bio' is therefore marginal). The slaughter process and transport of these pigs is done in the same way as the 'regular' pigs.
Aside from bio, Vion owns a brand called Good Farming Star; these pigs are kept under "1 star" welfare conditions (Beter Leven, Für Mehr Tierschutz or Initiative Tierwohl). The meat of these pigs is sold in Dutch supermarkets. The majority - 75% - of the pigs are not under any welfare regulation and their meat is exported.
Vion specializes in killing cows that were used for dairy. Every week Vion slaughters about 17,000 cows in the Netherlands and Germany.
The cows are slaughtered in the Netherlands in Tilburg - also the "organic" (Groene Weg) cows are slaughtered here. The slaughterhouse in Leeuwarden is closed and meat replacers are now being produced there. Vion also has 10 slaughterhouses in Germany (Altenburg, Bad Bramstedt, Bamberg, Buchloe, Crailsheim, Furth im Wald, Germaringen, Großostheim, Hilden and Waldkraiburg).
Vion shares videos of the slaughter of cows. More about dairy cows on the website of Animal Rights. This Dutch broadcast shows how the industry exploits dairy cows. The butchering of dairy cows is riddled with animal suffering. Cows are often pregnant and the unborn calves suffer a slow and painful death. Several Vion slaughterhouses have already been compromised and even closed because of animal welfare issues. More about this soon!
Not even 4% of the cows is kept under so called welfare requirements such as Beter Leven, EU Organic or Für Mehr Tierschutz.
Vion's "pork" department is a lot bigger, responsible for 2/3 of the turnover; the number of cows slaugthered is much less but the margins are much higher. There are many more farms that supply cows to Vion (48 thousand, 1/3 of all dairy farmers in the Netherlands and Germany) than pig farmers (9 thousand). Most cows are slaughtered in Germany. In the "cattle market" Vion has to deal with strong competitors and low demand.
Shut Down VION! is against all use of animals. We want animal farming to be abolished completely. We do not advocate for welfare improvements and "organic" or "freerange" meat.