The biggest slaughterhouse in the world is located in the small town of Buiten, Netherlands. The facility, owned by Vion Food Group, is the largest of its kind in Europe and processes up to 35,000 pigs each day. Vion’s Buiten facility consists of 21 buildings, covering an area of more than 1,000,000 square feet, and employs over 2,500 people.
At Vion’s Buiten facility, pigs are received from farms and transported to the slaughterhouse via truck or train. Pigs are then moved from the receiving area to the stunning area, where they are stunned with either a captive bolt gun or electrical stunning. After stunning, the pigs are moved to the slaughter area, where they are slaughtered using either a hand saw or an automated system. The carcasses are then moved to the cutting area, where they are cut into either primal cuts or sub-primal cuts. After cutting, the meat is then moved to the packaging area, where it is packaged for either fresh or frozen meat products. The meat is then transported to Vion’s other facilities for further processing.
Vion’s Buiten facility is the largest of its kind in Europe, but there are other large slaughterhouses in the world. In the United States, Cargill’s plant in Fort Morgan, Colorado is the largest slaughterhouse in the United States, processing up to 25,000 cattle each day. In China, there are a number of large slaughterhouses, including the Xiamen Foodstuff Co., Ltd., which processes up to 17,000 pigs each day.
At Vion’s Buiten facility, animal welfare is a priority and the facility has implemented a number of measures to ensure that the animals are treated humanely. The facility is regularly inspected and certified by the Dutch Food and Veterinary Authority (DVWA) and the European Commission’s Animal Welfare Protocol (ECAWP). The facility also meets the requirements of the Global Animal Welfare Guidelines (GAWG).
Vion’s Buiten facility is a testament to the company’s commitment to providing a high quality, safe and humane product. The facility is a model for other slaughterhouses around the world, and demonstrates that it is possible to produce a large quantity of safe and healthy meat products while still adhering to the highest animal welfare standards.