Fw: Defra refuses to prosecute filmed abuse

Alison Banville alisonbanville at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Jul 29 13:39:32 BST 2011

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Kelly Slade <kelly at animalaid.co.uk>
To: Kelly Slade <kelly at animalaid.co.uk>
Sent: Fri, 29 July, 2011 11:12:17
Subject: Revealed: cigarettes stubbed out on slaughter pigs¹ faces But Defra 
refuses to prosecute!

Revealed: cigarettes stubbed out on slaughter pigs’ faces But Defra refuses to 

For immediate release: 29th July 2011
Revealed: cigarettes stubbed out on slaughter pigs’ faces
But Defra refuses to prosecute!

Cigarettes stubbed out on pigs’ faces; one animal punched in the head; another 
goaded in the face; regular blows and kicks; seriously injured pigs forced to 
drag themselves to slaughter… All these abuses in one UK slaughterhouse and 
Defra still won’t prosecute.
Today, Animal Aid has released footage shot secretly at Elmkirk Ltd (Cheale 
Meats), an Essex-based, family-run slaughterhouse that kills up to 6,000 pigs a 
week and whose website proclaims: ‘Be proud of higher welfare, buy British 
The film – which was recorded on a number of secretly installed cameras over a 
period of four days – shows three different workers stubbing their cigarettes 
out on the faces of pigs, while one of the men landed a violent punch on the 
face of a pig who was walking by. 

In addition, three seriously injured pigs were forced to crawl from the lairage, 
through the race and into the stun pen. Animal Aid’s cameras followed them as 
they were pushed, dragged by their ears and kicked along. Such treatment 
breaches the welfare laws multiple times.*
Animal Aid filmed many examples of incompetence. Pigs are stunned using 
electrified tongs, which should span their brains and render them immediately 
insensible. However, three of the four workers filmed stunning pigs showed a 
callous indifference to the suffering of the animals, many of whom were not 
stunned correctly. Some were subjected to painful electric shocks from the 
tongs, and fell to the ground screaming.
It is legal to use electric goads on the muscles of the hindquarters of pigs, 
but only for brief periods and only when there is space ahead of the animal in 
which to move. At Cheale Meats, the electric goad was used in the face of one 
pig and on the anus of another.
An additional worrying episode showed an apparently dead pig being dragged into 
the stun pen by a pole in her mouth. She was not stunned but she was shackled, 
hoisted and had her throat cut on the slaughter line. How this animal died, what 
she had been suffering from and where her meat ended up remain unknown.
Cheale Meats is the ninth UK slaughterhouse to be secretly filmed by Animal Aid 
in the past two-and-a-half years. The national campaign group has identified 
legal breaches in seven of the previous eight – some of them so serious that one 
slaughterhouse was forced to close down. Cases were built for the prosecution of 
nine men and four slaughterhouse operators before a change of government brought 
a change of heart, and all the cases were dropped. Defra, under the coalition 
government, said that, unlike its Labour predecessor, it could not proceed 
because the evidence was obtained without the permission of the slaughterhouses. 
Animal Aid believes that this is a politically motivated excuse and cites the 
recent Panorama programme, which secretly filmed care home workers without the 
permission of the owners, and whose film is being used to prosecute.
Animal Aid sent the Cheale Meats evidence to the Food Standards Agency (FSA). 
This is the body that supplies vets to slaughterhouses and investigates breaches 
of the welfare and hygiene law before passing the cases to Defra, which is the 
prosecuting body. The FSA replied on 14 June saying: ‘Defra is not prepared to 
commence prosecution proceedings where the initial allegation is based on CCTV 
footage gained without the consent of the relevant Food Business Operator.’
Kate Fowler, Head of Campaigns at Animal Aid says:
‘Since we first began investigating English slaughterhouses, we have been 
pressing everyone involved – regulators, industry bodies and the government – to 
act decisively to end the cruelty. At first, they appeared contrite and promised 
action but now their words ring hollow. If Defra won’t prosecute these flagrant 
breaches of the law; if the vets can’t or won’t act to stop the cruelties; and 
if the slaughterhouse owners look the other way, who is there to stop animals 
from being abused at the most vulnerable time of their lives? It seems that all 
involved are content to keep quiet and to allow these cruelties to continue. So 
much for the UK having the best welfare standards in the world!’
- Ends -  

Notes to Editors:

	* For further information or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Fowler or 
Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546. Out of hours 07918 083 774. 

	* A five-minute compilation film from Cheale Meats can be seen: 

	* A 35-minute film detailing the breaches can be seen: 

	* Notes to accompany the 35-minute film can be seen: 

	* Screen grabs from the undercover film can be seen and downloaded: 
Additional information:

	* Animal Aid has secretly filmed inside eight other slaughterhouses from 
January 2009 until the present. Previous investigations can be seen here: 


	* While the government has so far failed to take action to curb the cruelties, 
the supermarkets have responded to Animal Aid’s campaign for CCTV to be 
installed in the slaughterhouses that supply them. Ten major supermarkets 
Morrisons, Waitrose, the Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Tesco, Lidl, Asda, Marks & 
Spencer and Iceland, along with wholesalers Booker, have now agreed to make CCTV 

	* * The treatment of the injured pigs at Cheale’s slaughterhouse breaches the 
Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations in a number of ways: 

1. The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in 
the movement or lairaging of animals shall ensure that pending the slaughter or 
killing of any sick or disabled animal in the slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard, 
it is kept apart from any animal which is not sick or disabled.
(Schedule 3, Part II 2 (e))
2. The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in 
the movement or lairaging of any animal shall ensure that any animal which has 
experienced pain or suffering during transport or following its arrival at the 
slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard is slaughtered or killed immediately.
(Schedule 3, Part II, paragraph 4 (a))
3. The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in 
the movement or lairaging of any animal shall ensure that any animal which is 
unable to walk is not dragged to its place of slaughter or killing but is 
slaughtered or killed where it lies; or if it is possible and to do so would not 
cause any unnecessary pain or suffering, is transported on a trolley or movable 
platform to a place of emergency slaughter or killing where it is then 
immediately slaughtered or killed.
(Schedule 3, Part II, paragraph 5 (a,b))

4. The occupier of a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard and any person engaged in 
the movement of any animals shall ensure that every animal is moved with care 
and, when necessary, that animals are led individually.
(Schedule 3, Part II, paragraph 9)

5. No person shall inflict any blow or kick to any animal.
(Schedule 3, Part II, paragraph 12)

6. No person shall lift or drag, or cause or permit to be lifted or dragged, any 
animal by the head, horns, ears, feet, tail, fleece or any other part of its 
body in such a way as to cause it unnecessary pain or suffering.
(Schedule 3, Part II, paragraph 7)
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