Animal Aid

Cheale Meats 'pathetic and ludicrous' response

Posted 2 August 2011

Any leading crisis management consultancy will make clear that the first thing their client must do when caught in a damaging situation is to acknowledge the mistake publicly and seek to make amends. Instead of following that advice, Cheale Meats has issued a desperate and ludicrous statement in response to Animal Aid’s undercover investigation at its slaughterhouse. Astonishingly, the company alleges that the welfare breaches filmed – including pigs burnt with cigarettes and one animal being punched in the head – ‘appear to have been staged for a planted hidden camera’. It also said ‘This incident, and the illegal entry which breached our biosecurity has been placed in the hands of the police who are carrying out an investigation.’

In the immediate aftermath of the horrific abuses being made public, a solicitor acting for Cheale Meats claimed the company did not even think the footage was taken at their plant. Now they are saying the cruelty was staged. Despite their pathetic attempt to justify the unjustifiable, two workers have been dismissed by the company, which indicates they know full well that the men involved were responsible for the cruelties revealed. Additionally, the Food Standards Agency has revoked slaughter licences.

We take biosecurity very seriously and always have. Before embarking on our undercover work, Animal Aid discussed biosecurity requirements with a senior Trading Standards Officer and we remain confident that we more than comply. Compare this to Cheale Meats’ workers caught on film repeatedly smoking, coughing up and spitting around the pigs, and urinating in the animals' pen. We will be sending a dossier of footage detailing hygiene breaches to the Food Standards Agency this week.

Animal Aid is a peaceful, respected national organisation. Cheale Meats should focus on getting its house in order, rather than shooting the messenger.

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