Bowood slaughterhouse staff charged with cruelty following Animal Aid investigation

Posted on the 16th March 2016

The two former owners of Bowood Yorkshire Lamb slaughterhouse in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, are understood to have been charged with animal cruelty offences, together with three slaughtermen who worked at the abattoir.

The charges follow a damning undercover investigation by Animal Aid, which was carried out over three days in December 2014, and revealed numerous instances of cruelty and lawbreaking. This included animals being kicked in the face, smashed into solid objects headfirst and picked up and hurled by their legs, fleeces, throats and ears. The footage caused a public and media storm when released in February 2015.

Bowood slaughterhouse went into administration in August 2015, around six months after Animal Aid’s investigation was released to the public. The company’s former owners, Robert and William Woodward, are reported by a reliable source as being charged with failing to prevent acts by employees that caused animals to suffer.

The slaughter workers who have been charged are named as Kabeer Hussein, Kazam Hussein and Artur Lewandowski. The men are all reported to be accused of causing suffering to sheep – the specific offences include not killing the animals with a single cut, striking them, and not giving them enough time to lose consciousness.

The first hearing is due to take place at Northallerton Magistrates’ Court on April 15.

Says Animal Aid Campaign Manager Isobel Hutchinson:

‘We are glad to hear that some of those responsible for causing such appalling suffering to animals during their final and most vulnerable moments are to face a measure of justice at last. Slaughter is always a brutal process, but the violence and deliberate animal abuse we filmed at Bowood is some of the worst we have ever witnessed. We very much hope that the gravity of these offences, and the unimaginable suffering that was inflicted on the defenceless animals, is reflected in the sentences that are given.’

Notes for Editors

  • Animal Aid filmed at Bowood Yorkshire Lamb over three days in December 2014. View the original press release, a 3-minute film and screen grabs from the footage.
  • Animal Aid is campaigning for mandatory, independently monitored CCTV to be installed in all slaughterhouses. The campaign has received widespread support from across the political spectrum, with 140 MPs signing the latest parliamentary motion on this issue. A government e-petition calling for mandatory CCTV received more than 112,000 signatures, and a June 2014 YouGov poll found that 76 per cent support mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses.
  • To arrange an interview with Isobel Hutchinson, please telephone 01732 364 546

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