NVWA Abattoir Monitor: More than 88,000 inspections carried out at abattoirs in 2021 | News report

News item | 19-09-2022 | 15:00

In 2021, the Dutch Food and Consumer Safety Authority (NVWA) carried out more than 88,000 inspections at slaughterhouses (red meat and poultry combined). 951 violations were identified. It led to 175 written warnings and 161 fines for red meat slaughterhouses. 349 warnings and 266 fines have been imposed on poultry slaughterhouses. This appears from the NVWA slaughterhouse monitor for the year 2021.

Picture: ©NVWA

Lisette de Ruigh, director of Keuren NVWA: “In the (permanent) supervision of slaughterhouses, NVWA intensified inspections of cleaning and disinfection in 2021 with a view to the risk of African swine fever and bird flu. The figures show that attention to cleaning and disinfection disinfection is very necessary . It is crucial to continue to guarantee the high animal health status in the Netherlands. We will therefore continue to closely monitor this risk area in 2022. Here too, business bears a heavy responsibility.”

Publication of data slaughterhouses 2021

NVWA has for some years now published data from the inspections in the 39 large red meat (23) and poultry slaughterhouses (16). It concerns the number of inspections within animal welfare, animal health and food safety per Corporation. NVWA also shares data on the number of written warnings and penalty notices. These are retroactive sanctions.

In addition to these types of sanctions, NVWA takes corrective action directly aimed at food safety and the protection of animal welfare and health. An example is an intervention in the process to enforce control, such as (temporarily) stopping or delaying the slaughter process. It happened in 2021 by suspending the approval of a slaughterhouse.

Another sanction is an order by the company to perform an action, such as cleaning or converting a part into an animal by-product. NVWA may also take preventive measures to prevent a recurrence of the violation. In addition, additional (specific) controls can be set up to promote the company’s compliance with laws and regulations.

Supervision of R&D protocol

Numerous risks can arise when delivering live animals to a slaughterhouse. NVWA therefore inspects, among other things, the cleaning and disinfection (R&D) of livestock transport equipment based on the theme of animal health. As early as 2021, NVWA intensified these R&D inspections at slaughterhouses due to the ongoing threat of African swine fever and bird flu.

Red meat slaughterhouses and poultry slaughterhouses must carefully clean livestock transport vehicles after unloading with disinfectants in the correct dosage to prevent infectious animal diseases. The slaughterhouse operator must provide an R&D protocol. NVWA checks whether the protocol corresponds to current legislation and regulations and also checks whether the slaughterhouse complies with the company protocol.

Further research: control disinfectants

In 2021, NVWA sampled used solutions of disinfectants for animal transport equipment (PT03 biocides for veterinary hygiene purposes) in red meat slaughterhouses with permanent supervision, in addition to the regular supervision of R&D. This showed that in the first half of 2021, these red meat slaughterhouses had major problems with preparing the disinfectant solution and with the correct concentration of PT3 disinfectants. Because this extra control is included in the total figures for R&D, it led to a significant increase in the number of violations: 20 written warnings and 16 fines during the whole of 2021 compared to 2020 with 1 written warning and 0 fines.

Inspections with a learning effect

The number of inspections at both red meat slaughterhouses and poultry slaughterhouses has increased from January 2021 due, among other things, to the sampling of disinfectants. In the second half of 2021, the number of violations fell again. It appears that the intensive NVWA inspections and sampling had a learning effect on compliance with the R&D regulations.

Results of inspection of red meat slaughterhouses 2021

Period of time Total number of checks Written warning worthy violations Total Non-specified fineable offenses Total Corrected fineable violations Total Number of violations Total
January-June 2021 19.007 92 22 48 162
July-December 2021 20,727 83 51 40 174

2021 inspection results poultry slaughterhouses

Period of time Total number of checks Written warning worthy violations Total Non-specified fineable offenses Total Corrected fineable violations Total Number of violations Total
January-June 2021 23,991 173 32 81 286
July-December 2021 25,221 176 110 43 329


At the time the tables were compiled, some observed violations had not yet been irrevocably established in connection with ongoing objection and/or appeal procedures. In the overview, it has therefore been decided to distinguish between established and non-established violations. This means that the figures listed in the columns “non-fixed fineable offences”, “fixed fineable offences” and “number of offences” are not final. After the moment of publication, the audit data in these overviews is no longer updated and therefore remains a snapshot.

More information

For questions about this news, journalists can contact NVWA’s press information team, (088) 22 33 700.

Consumers and businesses can contact the Customer Contact Center or 0900-03 88 (usual call rates).

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