Animal Aid placed hidden cameras in the lairage and slaughter room over three days in March 2017.
Sheep were filmed routinely having their throats repeatedly cut, as many as seven times in one case, in contravention of the law. This is thought to be as a result of the slaughterman failing to maintain a surgically sharp knife. Animals flailed and fitted, having been systematically moved unlawfully before they had enough time to lose consciousness. A slaughterman warned his colleagues when the vet was approaching on multiple occasions.
On three occasions a stockman was caught on camera deliberately picking sheep up by their fleeces and physically throwing the animals, in addition to roughly handling others. Whilst deliberately inflicting cruelty on one animal, the stockman shouts: “See ya! F**k you.”
The Food Standards Agency (FSA), which regulates animal welfare in slaughterhouses, has confirmed there have been “serious non-compliances with animal welfare legislation” during its initial review of 20 minutes of the footage and launched an urgent investigation.
The case took a frustratingly long time to come to court. Animal Aid are hugely disappointed with the sentencing, which consisted of a mixture of fines, one suspended sentence and community service. Perhaps, worst of all we were horrified to learn that none of the workers has been banned from working with animals. We hope that the new sentencing bill, will provide opportunities in future for greater justice in future years.