Slaughterhouse ‘cruelty’ footage condemned by animal groups

An animal rights group has released footage of alleged cruelty at a non-stun slaughterhouse in Yorkshire.

Animal Aid released a video of what it said was covert filming in the Bowood Lamb slaughterhouse in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, filmed over three days. The video can be viewed at the bottom of this article.

The footage appears to show sheep being kicked, thrown around and taunted. Animal Aid said it also showed “slaughtermen hacking away at the throats of still-conscious sheep”.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has suspended the licences of the slaughtermen involved. An FSA spokesperson said: “There is no excuse for treating animals in the way shown on the video and we are therefore investigating the footage with a view to prosecution. We are also continuing to investigate all the circumstances around the incident to ensure proper safeguards are introduced to stop this happening in the future.”

The RSPCA put out the following statement: “This footage sounds absolutely shocking and we await the results of the FSA’s investigation with interest.

“The public has a right to expect that all farmed animals have as painless and humane an end to their lives as possible. We know this is an issue of huge importance to our supporters and the general public.”

The Muslim Council of Britain said it was “appalled” at the reports and condemned the animal mistreatment: “The findings certainly are abhorrent in Islamic practice, and the abattoir must be subject to the full force of the law.”

The Halal Monitoring Committee (HMC) added: “HMC approve the exposure of the cruelty meted out by slaughtermen at Bowood Lamb.

“Unfortunately the media seem to have connected this matter to non-stun and halal. This behaviour is forbidden and has no place in Islam.”

Meanwhile, the British Veterinary Association announced that an e-petition to end non-stun slaughter had hit the 100,000 mark.

The release of the footage came ahead of an End of Day Adjournment debate in Parliament today (3 February) on CCTV in slaughterhouses, led by Henry Smith MP.

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