Staff from Thirsk abattoir under investigation for cruelty

Staff from Thirsk abattoir under investigation for cruelty

Four staff from Bowood Lamb slaughterhouse in Thirsk, north Yorkshire have had their operating licences suspended after hidden cameras filmed alleged mistreatment of animals.

One man has already been sacked from the slaughterhouse and three others have had their operating licences suspended, following footage captured by Animal Aid apparently showing sheep being kicked and punched at the site.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has begun an investigation. It said there was “no excuse” for how the animals were treated, and said prosecutions could follow.

Meat Management columnist Jamie Foster, speaking on behalf of Bowood Lamb, said the incidents were “hugely regrettable”.

He said that a picture of a slaughterman standing on the neck of a sheep “fell far below the standards that Bowood would find acceptable, and that individual was immediately dismissed for gross negligence.

“But it isn’t right that this is routine because Bowood is a company that takes animal welfare extremely seriously.” said Foster.

The slaughterhouse is licensed to slaughter animals under the Halal code, which states that they should be killed quickly with a single sweep of a surgically-sharp knife. They should not see the knife before they are slaughtered, or witness the death of other animals.

More than 4,000 sheep were filmed being slaughtered at Bowood over a three-day period in December.

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