Killing and slaughtering animals

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

If you want to kill or slaughter animals, strict regulations apply to all actions. You must have proof of your expertise and you must apply for recognition for your slaughterhouse. You must ensure that the animals suffer as little (pain and trauma) as possible during transport, accommodation, securing, stunning, slaughtering or killing. The room in which the slaughtering takes place and the instruments used must comply with the requirements referred to in the European regulation on the protection of animals at the time of killing (Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009).

Applying for recognition

You have to apply for recognition (in Dutch) of your slaughterhouse to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit, NVWA).

If you keep poultry or rabbits and slaughter in limited quantity on your own business premises, you may not need to apply for recognition (in Dutch). If you keep sheep or goats you may perform the slaughter outside of an abattoir if you adhere to strict conditions.

Religious slaughter

In the Netherlands, an animal must be stunned prior to slaughter. An exception to this rule is made for religious slaughter in accordance with religious rites (in Dutch). Religious slaughter is allowed only if:

  • it is performed in a recognised slaughterhouse (abattoir). You can apply for recognition (in Dutch) to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit, NVWA).
  • an NVWA supervisor is in attendance
  • you comply with the legal requirements

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO