Bowood Yorkshire Lamb Slaughterhouse, exposed for cruelty, goes into administration

Posted on the 12th August 2015

A Yorkshire slaughterhouse, whose brutal treatment of sheep was revealed through undercover filming by Animal Aid, is reported to have gone into administration.

Animal Aid’s cameras, planted at Bowood Yorkshire Lamb in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, filmed 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. Our evidence was handed over to the Food Standards Agency and we understand that cases for prosecution of a number of individuals are not far off.

It is reasonable to assume that the behaviour revealed in the Bowood footage had almost certainly been going on for some time unchecked and probably would have continued if it were not for Animal Aid’s intervention. The brutality on display was not only shocking, it revealed a systemic top-to-bottom failure.

Says Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler:

‘The lesson of Bowood, and the secret filming that Animal Aid has been undertaking since 2009, is that CCTV, with proper independent monitoring of footage, is an absolute priority for all UK slaughterhouses. The regulatory and political authorities have delayed for too long. The comprehensive evidence we have presented makes clear that cameras will have a significantly beneficial effect. There must be no further delay in requiring their mandatory installation.’

Bowood was the tenth slaughter establishment in which Animal Aid has filmed since January 2009. It was the first to practice non-stun halal slaughter. In all but one of the other so called ‘humane’ establishments, Animal Aid filmed illegal cruelty and or incompetence, including animals being kicked, punched, burnt with cigarettes and brutalised with electrical stunning tongs. Amongst the previous nine were establishments that were RSPCA or Soil Association approved.

Animal Aid is determined that the announcement of Bowood going into administration will not mean that the company, its management and employees, avoid facing justice in a court of law.

Notes for editors

  • A&G Barber, which used to kill a quarter of all ‘cull sows’ in the UK, was forced to permanently close in August 2010 after Animal Aid filmed pigs being brutalised with electric tongs and subjected to other vicious treatment.
  • To arrange an interview with Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler, please call 01732 364546.
  • See the original investigation at Bowood Yorkshire Lamb, including footage taken
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