10 August 2011

Undercover video shows pig abuse in UK slaughterhouse

An undercover video recorded by a UK animal welfare group, shows horrifying abuse carried out at Elmkirk Ltd., an Essex slaughterhouse claiming to have high standards of animal welfare.

The footage, filmed by Animal Aid, shows pigs being beaten, punched and burnt with cigarettes at the property owned by Cheale Meats. Another pig is shown being forced to drag itself towards the stun pen after being repeatedly kicked and dragged by its ears.

Animal Aid claims the abuse is widespread and has further video evidence of another seven slaughterhouses which have been filmed over the last two and a half years. Despite the abuse being against the law in the UK, so far Elmkirk has not been prosecuted due to lack of evidence and due to the claim that the video was illegally obtained.

After the footage was made public, the Department for Environment and Roral Affairs (Defra) stated:
“Defra takes the issue of animal welfare very seriously. Where video evidence has been obtained unlawfully through trespass, there is very little prospect of securing a conviction. So far as Cheale Meats is concerned, The Food Standards Agency has not referred the case to Defra’s lawyer for a decision on whether a prosecution should be brought.”

A solicitor for Elmkirk, Jamie Foster, told Sky News that the footage had been obtained illegally and that CCTV had been in place at the facility for ten years. He further stated:

“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. A complaint has been made to Essex Police by our clients in relation to any unlawful entry into our client’s premises by an employee of Animal Aid. The outcome of that complaint is awaited.”

Source: The Telegraph

Bev Hahler | @redhotvegan
Bev, a vegetarian since she was 14 years old, became more interested in veganism several years ago after studying Agro-business as part of an Ecology degree. She has a gorgeous daughter in second grade who has been a vegetarian her whole life (lucky girl). Follow Bev on her blog and Facebook.

Photo credit: Animal Aid