Animal Aid filmed sheep, pigs and calves being killed over five days in January 2009.
Despite it being illegal, we filmed many pigs being kicked in the head and face.
Although the law says that animals must remain unconscious from the point of stunning until death, sheep were regularly given inadequate ‘stuns’ – with electrified tongs that would have caused significant pain – and were then stunned again. One sheep endured five attempts at stunning her, while four suffered the electric current four times before they were unconscious.
It was clear that the animals being killed here suffered great fear: sheep ran in circles, desperately searching for an exit. One threw herself repeatedly at the walls, while others leapt right through the hatch into the slaughter area and landed in the ‘blood pit’ below. One sheep – emaciated and very sick, or possibly already dead – was brought to slaughter in a wheelbarrow.
No prosecutions were brought but the Meat Hygiene Service (now known as the Food Standards Agency) identified areas for improvement and undertook staff retraining.