Investigation: Sheep Brutally Killed in UK Slaughterhouse
Today, Animal Equality UK released a new investigation filmed inside a sheep slaughterhouse. The disturbing recordings, filmed during July and August 2019 at Farmers Fresh Wales slaughterhouse in Wrexham, North Wales, detail unimaginable cruelty and immense suffering. Farmers Fresh Wales supplies customers in London and across the Midlands, as well as continental Europe.
THE DETAILS: The horrifying footage, filmed by one of our undercover investigators, reveals sheep and lambs brutally killed in front of each other and the use of inadequate machinery, which results in animals becoming painfully trapped. Much of this suffering took place with a Food Standards Agency inspector present. Our investigators also found:
- Sheep being decapitated while hanging in mid-air, their severed heads discarded in full view of animals awaiting slaughter;
- Sheep suspended upside down from a conveyor belt being killed in view of other animals;
- Bloody corpses piled on the backs of live sheep on a conveyor, who are left to struggle under the immense weight;
- Tiny lambs and emaciated sheep falling through a gap in the machinery;
- Sheep whose heads are wedged in the equipment and whose limbs become entangled with other sheep;
- Workers using brute force to try and pull trapped sheep out of the conveyor belt, causing pain and distress;
- Stunning with a captive bolt gun, attempted with non-optimal positioning, increasing the risk of ineffective stunning.
A PATTERN OF ABUSE: The investigation comes after another animal protection charity, Animal Aid, recently exposed appalling images of brutal animal abuse in this same slaughterhouse. Their undercover exposé, filmed earlier in 2019, prompted the launch of a criminal investigation by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Despite this ongoing criminal probe – and with an FSA inspector present to witness many issues first-hand – Animal Equality has found further evidence of severe mistreatment of animals taking place routinely. Animal Equality has sent a letter of complaint reporting the findings to the FSA, urging it to take enforcement action against Farmers Fresh.
WHAT WE’RE SAYING: “These defenceless animals are treated like commodities, placed on a conveyor that delivers them to their death. Slaughterhouses are inherently unforgiving places and this systematic neglect – made all the worse by poorly designed equipment – causes even more distress for these terrified lambs and sheep,” says Abigail Penny, Acting Executive Director of Animal Equality UK.
WHAT COMES NEXT: We are calling on the Welsh Government to make CCTV mandatory in all slaughterhouses (as is already the case in England). We are also urging MPs across the UK to reinstate a law that was previously in place – and inexplicably revoked – to prevent animals from seeing other animals killed in front of them (given the immense psychological suffering that this causes). The Food Standards Agency must also take immediate action against Farmers Fresh Wales and their own officer who failed in his duties.
How You Can Help
If you want to stop the suffering that takes place in slaughterhouses, join us in leaving animals off your plate. It has never been easier to choose plant-based options instead of meat.
You can also support Animal Equality’s work to expose hidden cruelty in slaughterhouses through investigations around the world. Demand justice for these vulnerable animals and help us spread the word about this unimaginable cruelty by sharing this post.