Abattoir workers sentenced over animal abuse offences

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Four men were sentenced for animal cruelty offences at Leeds Magistrates Court
Four men were sentenced for animal cruelty offences at Leeds Magistrates Court

Related tags Animal rights

An abattoir boss and three slaughtermen have been sentenced for causing unnecessary suffering to animals after they were secretly filmed mistreating sheep.

William Woodward, company director at the Northamptonshire-based Bowood Farms abattoir, was sentenced to 20 weeks’ imprisonment (suspended for 12 months) and given a 250-hours unpaid work community order at a Leeds Magistrates Court hearing on 2 March. 

He was also disqualified under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) from having influence or control over sheep along with £5,000 court costs.

The prosecution said he had “simply turned a blind eye to the animals’”​ welfare at his slaughterhouse.

Abattoir worker Artur Lewandowski was given a 150-hours unpaid work community order, as well as an indefinite disqualification order under the AWA for control over sheep. He was also ordered to pay £100 court costs.

Workers Kabeer Hussain and Kazam Hussein were also given 16 weeks and 18 weeks (suspended for 12 months) respectively along with a 250-hours unpaid work community order; both were also disqualified under the AWA of control over sheep and were ordered to pay £500 court costs.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) welcomed the sentencing.

Colin Sullivan, chief operating officer at the Food Standards Agency, said: “The Animal Welfare Act puts clear rules in place as to how animals should be treated, but these defendants chose to ignore the regulations, in the process inflicting unnecessary suffering on the animals.

“We hope this sends a clear message to other abattoirs that fail to uphold the required standards: we will investigate and we will look to prosecute.”

Not everyone was pleased with the sentencing, however. Animal Aid, whose covert filming brought the incident to the attention of the authorities, said the “sentences did not reflect the severity of the abuses uncovered”​.

Bowood Farms went into administration in August 2015 with all staff made redundant.

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1 comment

Feeble Legislature

Posted by Chris,

Totally inappropriate sentences in UK (again) for this bunch of thugs and the "Manager". Maximum jail sentences should have been applied - there is no doubt their abuse and taunting of animals continued for a long time and was only exposed for a short while. They bring shame on the meat industry - and on their "religion" and "religious rites". Pure evil characters.

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