The Netherlands is a poor performer (“E”) under the VACI. The country has high levels of animal production and consumption, and relatively strong animal protection laws with room for improvement for farmed animal protection.
The Netherlands is a major exporter of animal products. It slaughters more animals on a per capita basis than any other country on the VACI list (except Belarus). The Netherlands slaughters 37.2 land-based animals per person per year, compared with a global average of 10.1. The country’s dependence on farmed animals is very high, with around 7.2 animals per person, versus a global average of 4.1. Large-scale, intensive factory farming is widespread, particularly with pigs, chickens and other farmed birds.
The proportion of animal products in the Dutch diet is the fourth highest of the fifty VACI countries, after Argentina, Australia and the United States, with around 63% of the diet comprised of land-based animal protein, compared to a global average of 35.2%. While average meat consumption per person has dropped from 80kg in 2005 to 68kg in 2013, each Dutch citizen still consumes around 61.6g of land-based animal protein per day, versus a global average of 27.2g.
The Netherlands is rated as a good performer (“B”) under the Animal Protection Index (API), and its farmed animal protection legislation achieved an adequate performance rating (“C”) under the same index. The Netherlands is an animal welfare leader in Europe, recognising the sentience and ‘intrinsic value’ of animals under the law. However, there is still room for improvement, such as prohibiting the gas stunning of pigs and banning the use of cages for animal production. Learn more about the quality of The Netherlands’ legislative protections on the API here.