Published On: Tue, Feb 3rd, 2015 on 12:01 am

Shocking animal cruelty exposed in Yorkshire slaughterhouse

WARNING: Story contains content and images that readers may find upsetting.

Yorkshire Slaughter Animal Cruelty

A worker pulls back a fist whilst holding a sheep by the throat.

A national campaigning organisation has exposed horrific practices conducted inside a Yorkshire slaughterhouse by filming within its premises.

Animal Aid filmed workers inside Bowood Yorkshire Lamb slaughterhouse in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, over three days last month.

Fly-on-the-wall cameras captured sheep being kicked in the face, being smashed into solid objects headfirst and thrown by their legs, fleeces, throats and ears.

A worker was captured holding a sheep by her throat and pulling back a fist, and one was caught standing on the neck of a conscious sheep, then bouncing up and down.

Yorkshire Slaughter Animal Cruelty

A sheep choked by a worker.

Slaughterhouse workers were also recorded laughing at a sheep whilst it bled to death and more were caught frightening the sheep by waving knives and smacking them on the head.

Hacking away at sheep’s throats

Bowood, which is owned by English father and son, Robert and William Woodward, practised non-stun slaughter.

Animal Aid discovered a weakness in the application of the law that requires all animals to be stunned prior to being killed unless the meat is intended for Muslim or Jewish consumers.

Unlike the traditional approach in which a sharp knife is used to cut the throat in a single swipe, one slaughterer was filmed hacking away at sheep’s throats, taking five attempts to sever blood vessels.

Halal monitoring bodies normally require that prayers should be said before animals are slaughtered.

Animal Aid reported no prayers being said, whilst radio played loud pop music, including Christmas songs.

“Ninth to be caught breaking animal welfare laws”

Kate Fowler, head of campaigns at Animal Aid, said: “The vicious attacks on defenceless, frightened animals at Bowood are inexcusable. All four conveyor operators we filmed over three days abused animals to varying degrees, while the slaughterers looked on unmoved.

“This is the tenth slaughterhouse in which we have filmed undercover, and it is the ninth to be caught breaking animal welfare laws. None of the abuses we uncovered would have come to light without our cameras being in place, even though there is a government-appointed vet at each slaughterhouse.”

Animal Aid has reported Bowood Yorkshire Lamb to the Food Standards Agency, which has suspended three men’s slaughter licences and is building cases for prosecution.

Image courtesy: Animal Aid.

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  1. Yorkshire Standard Sarah says:

    The dumb in our society will be surprised to know that the majority of animals killed by halal slaughter in the UK are stunned like any other meat.

  2. paula cook says:

    Is it too much to ask that these poor animals in the last minutes of their lives be treated with respect and care. Halal slaughter should be stopped, there should be no exemption to animal welfare for religion and anyone wanting meat killed this way should buy imported.
    Workers in slaughter houses need to employees who are checked out and trained to a high level, these animals are living beings….

    • ross says:

      Respect and care? How exactly is a ‘house of slaughter’ respectful and careful to any being? No matter the method of murder, all slaughterhouses are barbaric and evil in every sense.

  3. Ed Blackie says:

    The cruelty is inexcusable; more sickening is the gang-culture of the so-called men working there; most disturbing though is the sheer lethargy, negligence, of the Government officers tasked with oversight. On our behalf.

    Thank you! – to those brave people who, unlike the others perhaps, were not afraid to act.

  4. Ross says:

    Disgusting Human Beings (If you can even call them that) I hope they endure the pain they have caused upon these innocent animals that we are blessed with.

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