Animal Aid

The 'Humane Slaughter' Myth


Between January 2009 and April 2011, Animal Aid filmed secretly inside nine UK slaughterhouses. Eight were breaking animal welfare laws.

Slaughterhouse Suffering

Campaign Resources

Between 2009 and 2011, Animal Aid filmed secretly inside nine randomly chosen British slaughterhouses. We found evidence of cruelty and lawbreaking in eight of them. The problems are serious and widespread. Our films revealed animals being kicked, slapped, stamped on, and picked up by fleeces and ears and thrown into stunning pens. We recorded animals being improperly stunned and going to the knife while still conscious. We filmed animals deliberately and illegally beaten and pigs burned with cigarettes.

Even where no laws were broken, animals still suffered pain and fear. And ‘high welfare’ plants, such as those accredited by the Soil Association and Freedom Food, were no better than the standard ones, and were guilty of breaches of the welfare laws. Animal Aid believes that whether ‘conventional’, organic, kosher or halal, all slaughter is unnecessary and immoral, and the only way to prevent such suffering is to go vegan.


sheep taken to slaughter in a wheelbarrow

How Can I Help?

  • Choose an animal-free diet. There is no kind way to slaughter animals, and the best way to prevent their suffering is not to eat them. Animal Aid is here to help and advise anyone wishing to adopt a more compassionate diet.
  • The slaughter industry is demanding less external regulation, even though Animal Aid’s investigations show it cannot be trusted to obey the law. Please help us campaign for mandatory CCTV in all UK slaughterhouses by ordering campaign postcards from info@animalaid.co.uk.
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper about slaughterhouse cruelty. Let its readers know that Animal Aid can send a free Go Veggie and Vegan pack to anyone who requests one.
  • Urge family and friends to watch our film, and and circulate it on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Make a donation to help us continue our investigations
pig screams out when slaughterman gives him a painful body stun

Campaign Achievements

Animal Aid is the only organisation to have revealed what is truly going on inside typical UK slaughterhouses. This is what our investigation has achieved so far:

  • Two men were jailed for cruelty to animals at Cheale Meats after they beat and burned pigs.
  • Our campaign for CCTV to be installed in slaughterhouses has been accepted by the supermarkets. The ten largest – Morrisons, Waitrose, the Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Tesco, Lidl, Asda, Marks & Spencer and Iceland – along with wholesalers Booker, have now agreed to deal only with slaughterhouses that have independently monitored CCTV cameras installed.
  • Essex slaughterhouse A&G Barber Ltd closed down when its customers saw, through our secretly-filmed footage, how bad conditions were.
Read more about the achievements of our slaughterhouse campaign
sheep being body stunned at an organic-certified slaughterhouse

Campaign History

The campaign to reveal what takes place behind closed doors in British abattoirs began in January 2009 when we planted fly-on-the-wall cameras in JV Richards, a Cornish slaughterhouse. This was quickly followed by investigations at AC Hopkins in Somerset and Pickstock in Derbyshire.

Read more about the history of our slaughterhouse investigations

Recent Campaign News

100 MPs Demand Mandatory CCTV in Slaughterhouses (05-11-2014)

MPs from Manchester and Birmingham call for CCTV in Slaughterhouses (20-10-2014)

Government figures on mis-stunning in UK slaughterhouses 'more than 99.99 per cent inaccurate' (06-10-2014)

Visit SlaughterhouseCCTV.org.uk (25-07-2014)

CCTV in Slaughterhouses: Time to Act! (20-05-2014)

Halal furore has nothing at all to do with animal welfare and everything to do with prejudice (12-05-2014)

Government figures on effective stunning in UK slaughterhouses attacked as 'wildly inaccurate' (07-04-2014)

Slaughterhouse Tales (13-03-2014)

'Cruel' F Drury & Sons fined over death of worker (16-09-2013)

CCTV for all Slaughterhouses (14-05-2013)

Full Campaign News Archive

Send this page to a friend


Read about how we treat your data: privacy policy.

© Copyright Animal Aid 2014