Search

Abattoir under fire for cruelty

PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:41 01 August 2010

THREE slaughterers have had their licences suspended and a prosecution is being considered after an animal campaign group took secret footage inside a Norfolk abattoir.

THREE slaughterers have had their licences suspended and a prosecution is being considered after an animal campaign group took secret footage inside a Norfolk abattoir.

Animal Aid has posted video footage from JH Lambert in Earsham, near Bungay on its website, claiming it shows mistreatment of animals.

It was taken secretly over two days in March and April inside the slaughterhouse that kills pigs and sheep.

Kate Fowler, Animal Aid's head of campaigns, claimed that the footage includes sheep being dragged by their heads, being picked up by their fleeces and ears, being thrown, and being improperly stunned.

“There are a number of very serious problems at JH Lambert, not least of which is their method of stunning pigs which, we believe, causes significant suffering to the animals,” she said. “But the rough handling of the sheep - who are routinely dragged, thrown and hit to get them to comply - shows a shocking callousness towards these terrified animals.”

Managing director of JH Lambert abattoir Kevin Burrows said that the allegation was being taken very seriously and that the company did not tolerate mistreatment of animals.

“There's an allegation,” he said. “We have viewed some footage on the Animal Aid website.

“We haven't got that evidence to hand at the moment. We are waiting for that evidence and two people have been suspended and a third suspended from slaughtering duties, all with a view to a further investigation into the incident.”

A Food Standards Agency (FSA) spokesman said that Animal Aid provided it with footage from JH Lambert.

He said: “Animal cruelty within slaughterhouses will not be tolerated. FSA staff will and do take appropriate enforcement action if breaches of animal welfare legislation in slaughterhouses are witnessed or evidence is provided of such incidents taking place.

“We have subsequently suspended three slaughterers' licences, and we have been advised that the owner has suspended them from their slaughtering duties. Evidence to support potential prosecutions of the slaughterhouse operator and the slaughterers is being assessed.”

The spokesman said the company had undertaken immediate refresher staff training and indicated that using CCTV to record the slaughtering process may well be the way forward.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Beccles and Bungay Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists