Breaking news: Slaughterhouse workers prosecuted following Animal Aid investigation

Posted on the 7th August 2019

Back in March 2017, Animal Aid placed secret cameras at Malik Food Group slaughterhouse in Burnley, Lancashire. Our findings were truly shocking, from sheep having their throats hacked at repeatedly, to animals being callously thrown. This shocking treatment would no doubt have compounded the animals’ suffering at this most vulnerable point.

Below are some of the incidents we uncovered:

  • On three occasions a stockman was caught on camera deliberately picking sheep up by their fleeces and physically throwing the animals, in addition to roughly handling others.
  • Many of the sheep were not killed with a single clean cut but had their throats hacked at repeatedly
  • Sheep were moved unlawfully before they had sufficient time to loose consciousness.
  • A slaughterman warned his colleagues when the vet was approaching on multiple occasions which suggests that they were clearly aware that their behaviour was unacceptable.

Malik Food Group was the twelfth slaughterhouse in which Animal Aid filmed undercover since January 2009. The case has taken a frustratingly long time to come to court. We are hugely disappointed with the sentencing, which consisted of a mixture of fines, one suspended sentence and community service. Perhaps, worst of all we were horrified to learn that none of the workers has been banned from working with animals. We hope that the new sentencing bill, currently passing through Parliament, will provide opportunities in future for greater justice.

Our statement on the result:

‘While it is positive that this long-running case has finally concluded, we certainly do not feel that justice has been adequately served. These lenient sentences in no way reflect the gravity of the terrible suffering that was inflicted on gentle animals at the most vulnerable time of their short lives.

‘It is important to emphasise that the shocking scenes we filmed at this slaughterhouse were by no means unique. We have filmed inside 15 slaughterhouses, and found lawbreaking in almost every case. Incidents filmed at other slaughterhouses include animals being beaten, kicked and even burnt with cigarettes. But even when the law is followed to the letter, slaughter can never be cruelty-free. Slaughterhouses are merciless places, where animals’ lives are brutally taken from them.

‘We would urge anyone who is shocked by this case to try a cruelty-free diet. Going vegan is the single best thing we can all do to help animals, and more and more people are embracing this compassionate way of life.’

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