Hillside claims 'cruelty' at Staffordshire abattoir

By Oli Haenlein

- Last updated on GMT

Just days after the Bowood Lamb abattoir scandal, another slaughterhouse has been accused of "barbaric" cruelty to animals after more covert footage was released apparently showing sheep and pigs being kicked and hit.

Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norwich recorded the undercover video over six months at butcher's S Bagshaw and Sons' slaughterhouse in Butterton, Staffordshire. The footage was published on 8 February on YouTube. The sanctuary said it had investigated after receiving a tip-off about poor treatment at the abattoir.

The video appears to show a sheep being thrown the floor, a pig being kicked, and a cows, having had their throats cut, being strung up while still moving. Investigations by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the RSPCA are under way.

The footage came to light soon after animal rights group Animal Aid released video of alleged mistreatment of animals at Bowood Lamb slaughterhouse in Yorkshire. The claims have seen an increase in calls for compulsory CCTV in abattoirs.

Hillside Animal Sanctuary said: "For the past 15 years Hillside Animal Sanctuary has investigated and exposed terrible conditions on British farms. Many of these investigations have highlighted the terrible cruelty often found in intensive factory farming and people often tell us they only shop from their local butcher, where they believe that the animals they are eating have been treated humanely. Our latest exposure of S Bagshaw and Son, a 'high class' local butcher, dispels this myth."

Other allegations from the six months of filming include animals not being stunned properly, being rammed against walls and thrown around.

A spokesperson from S Bagshaw and Sons said: "The company does not condone the mistreatment of animals. We have mounted our own investigation and are assisting the FSA with its investigation. The FSA has a 100% veterinary attendance on the site of the premises during processing. Hillside Animal Sanctuary, which is responsible for the covert filming, obtains funding for sensationalist, isolated incidents."

Related topics: Regulation, Food Safety, Meat & poultry

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