Yorkshire Abattoir in Trouble over Animal MistreatmentKeith
A Yorkshire abattoir is in trouble over animal mistreatment.
Hidden cameras show mistreatment of sheep in Bowood Yorkshire Lamb abattoir in Thirsk, North Yorkshire.
Distressing footage showing “routine abuse” of sheep in a halal abattoir has reignited the debate over whether animals should be stunned before they are slaughtered for human consumption.
Under halal law, animals are supposed to be killed quickly by single cut from a surgically-sharp knife.
Although 80 per cent of halal meat is stunned, the number of sheep killed without stunning is rising due to campaigning by Muslims, figures show.
Secret filming in an halal abattoir in Yorkshire showed “horrifying” treatment of animals killed without stunning.
Workers were shown hacking and sawing at the animals’ throats with apparently blunt knives. In one instance the procedure, which according to Islamic law should be instantaneous, took five attempts.
Halal rules also state that animals should never see the knife or witness others being killed, protecting them against unnecessary trauma.
But the footage showed a man wearing a Muslim kufi skullcap at Bowood Lamb Abattoir in Thirsk regularly sharpening knives in front of the sheep. Due to the design of the abattoir, in which animals were forced on to conveyor belts, the sheep typically saw another member of the flock having its throat cut, bleeding on the floor and being hoisted and shackled.
In a direct contravention of animal UK animal welfare law, 431 of the 500 sheep observed were “shunted off” the conveyor within 20 seconds of being cut.
British law prohibits the slaughtering of animals unless they have been stunned, but there are exemptions for Jewish and Muslim producers.
Religious leaders from both communities have always insisted that halal and and kosher meat is produced in a humane way.
The film captured by lobby group Animal Aid, which has used subterfuge to place cameras in 10 abattoirs since 2009, showed evidence of repeated malpractice.
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