Animal Aid

The government justifies slaughterhouse inaction

Posted 15 August 2011

Defra – the government department responsible for prosecuting slaughterhouse cruelty cases – has responded to the thousands of letters it has received from members of the public who were horrified at the abuse of pigs at Cheale Meats.

Animal Aid released footage showing workers burning pigs with cigarettes, and punching, kicking and beating them around the head. The undercover film also showed improper stunning, leaving animals screaming on the floor, and three seriously injured pigs forced to drag themselves through the slaughterhouse. The horrific investigation was seen by millions of people on Sky News and in several national newspapers.

Despite the many serious breaches of the law, the government has so far refused to prosecute. Since May, when Animal Aid first brought these breaches to the attention of the regulators, Defra and the Food Standards Agency have issued a series of justifications for why those caught harming animals will not be prosecuted.

Here, Animal Aid debunks Defra’s assertions and criticises its policy of allowing slaughterhouse abusers to avoid prosecution


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