Un-stunned animals at halal slaughterhouse have their throats hacked with saws.
UK Express The incident, which, was one of many allegedly captured by hidden cameras at an abattoir. Other footage is claimed to show sheep being kicked in the face by staff and a worker standing on the neck of a conscious animal.
The hidden cameras also apparently caught staff laughing at a sheep bleeding to death and slaughtermen taunting and frightening animals by waving knives.
The footage, taken at the Bowood Lamb abattoir in Thirsk in North Yorkshire, resulted in four slaughtermen have their operating licences suspended. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have launched an investigation into the footage and said there was “no excuse for treating animals in the way shown on the video”.
They added that prosecutions could follow after animal rights group Animal Aid recorded the footage in December. Kate Fowler, head of campaigns at Animal Aid, said the scenes from the Halal slaughterhouse were “inexcusable”. She said: “The vicious attacks on defenceless, frightened animals at Bowood are inexcusable.
“All four conveyor operators we filmed over three days abused animals to varying degrees, while the slaughterers looked on unmoved.” The law requires abattoirs to stun animals before slaughter to prevent unnecessary suffering.
Under the Halal code, animals are supposed to 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. However, the video footage appears to show that these rules were routinely flouted at Bowood where more than 4,000 sheep were filmed being killed.
Sheep appeared to have knives sharpened in front of them and watched fellow animals bleeding to death before being shackled and hoisted. Animals can apparently be seen having their throats hacked and sawed by a slaughterman wearing the traditional Muslim kufi skullcap in the clip.
The workers are heard muttering the words Allahu Akbar (God is great) as they slaughtered the animals. Under UK law slaughtered animals that have not been stunned must not be moved for at least 20 seconds after their throats are cut. This to ensure loss of consciousness but 86 per cent of the sheep at Bowood were moved before that amount of time had elapsed, according to Animal Aid.
Although Government-appointed vets are supposed to be on hand in all abattoirs the size of Bowood none were seen during filming. Equally shocking welfare breaches had been uncovered at other secretly-filmed slaughterhouses where animals were stunned.
Ms Fowler added: “This is the 10th slaughterhouse in which we have filmed undercover, and it is the ninth to be caught breaking animal welfare laws. “None of the abuses we uncovered would have come to light without our cameras being in place, even though there is a Government-appointed vet at each slaughterhouse.”