Animal Aid's campaign for mandatory CCTV and independent monitoring in all UK slaughterhouses. Helping vets to see what happens in the stunning and slaughter areas when they cannot be present.

Animal Aid filmed sheep and pigs being killed over two days in March 2010. We filmed a great deal of violence inflicted on the sheep at this slaughterhouse: animals were dragged by their heads into the stun pen or were picked up by their fleeces and ears and forcibly thrown.

The method used to kill sheep meant that the stun-to-stick interval – which should be as brief as possible and no more than 15 seconds to minimise the risk of sheep regaining consciousness – was often breached, with one sheep left for a full minute.

The entire method used to stun pigs also appeared to be illegal: a brief head-stun was delivered to make the animal fall to the ground, and then the same electrified tongs were used to send a powerful current from the head through the body. It is not known whether the workers intended to stun the animals (in which case it is illegal) or kill them (in which case there were serious concerns over its legality) but, either way, such a method should not have been used.

What happened next?
Three slaughterers had their licences suspended and a case for their prosecution, along with their employer, was compiled. Defra – the government department responsible for prosecutions – dropped the case, however, claiming incorrectly that there was ‘no longer a realistic prospect of conviction’ due to the method used by Animal Aid to obtain the footage. Animal Aid’s footage was later successfully used to prosecute and jail two slaughterhouse animal abusers but the workers and owners of JH Lambert had by then escaped justice.