Animal Aid has released secret footage of pigs being punched and burned with cigarettes by staff
Footage showing pigs being abused by staff at a UK abattoir has been released by campaign group Animal Aid.
The film reveals pigs being punched in the face by staff as well as having cigarettes burned on their faces, being incorrectly stunned and dragged by their ears to slaughter.
Animal Aid claims it secretly installed four cameras at Elmkirk Ltd (Cheale Meats), an Essex-based slaughterhouse, which recorded over a period of four days.
Elmkirk’s solicitor Jamie Foster told Sky News the footage had been obtained unlawfully and that his client has had CCTV installed for 10 years.
“Given the source of this material, Elmkirk would not accept that all or any of the activities shown on this video relate to their premises,” he said.
DEFRA has said it will not prosecute Cheale Meats on the grounds that campaigners trespassed to obtain the footage.
Commenting on DEFRA’s stance, Kate Fowler, head of campaigns at Animal Aid, said: “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.”
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) also released a statement following release of the footage, which said: “As soon as the agency received filmed extracts of the abuse at the plant, the FSA revoked the licence of one of the slaughtermen identified in the footage. The other slaughterman who featured in the footage was in possession of a provisional licence, which has now expired and has not and will not be renewed.
“In addition, the agency increased the level of monitoring its staff carry out at this plant, to ensure procedures were being followed correctly. The business subsequently dismissed both the slaughtermen identified in the filming from their employ.”
The statement went on to say that, considering DEFRA’s stance regarding the footage, the FSA has decided not to submit a file to DEFRA to consider for prosecution.