Animal Aid Undercover Investigation Reveals Slaughterhouse Mistreatment

A shocking new investigation has been revealed by campaign group Animal Aid, which found horrific mistreatment of animals at a slaughterhouse in Devon.

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Debunking the myths of ‘humane’ slaughter, the footage from PJ Hayman & Sons in Ottery St Mary – which supplies independent butchers shops in Devon – shows awful scenes of cows beaten with piping on the way to their deaths, while another has its neck slammed in a gate.

Hidden cameras placed at the small-scale abattoir by Animal Aid in July also filmed workers threatening animals, with one cow visibly slipping on the floor as she tries to escape the slaughter men.

Distressed animals were also left for lengthy periods in head restraints or stun boxes, while others were not accurately stunned prior to slaughter. Animal Aid also explained that cattle like to be able to see ahead of themselves, but cows were forced to turn a corner to enter the stun box.

The undercover footage was passed to the slaughterhouse regulatory body, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which is thought to be carrying out an investigation into the findings. A prosecution could follow, and, according to The Times newspaper, a spokesman for PJ Hayman said a member of staff who appears in the footage had his slaughter licence suspended.

He also added that in 140 hours of footage recorded only a few incidents had been highlighted, and that a standard flexible plastic pipe was used to guide cattle.

Animal Aid’s farming and slaughter campaign manager, Tor Bailey, commented:

 “PJ Hayman & Sons is a small slaughterhouse, which some people may think is more humane, but we were deeply shocked and saddened by what we filmed there. This included a cow being beaten on the way to her death, and the already horrific slaughter process being worsened by blatant incompetence.

“‘PJ Haymans is the fifteenth slaughterhouse which Animal Aid has investigated. Time and time again we have revealed shocking scenes that dispel the “humane slaughter” myth. We would urge anyone who feels moved by the footage to consider going plant-based as this is the only way to be assured of animal welfare.”

From 5 November this year, it will be mandatory for all slaughterhouses to install CCTV, following a spate of undercover investigations which reveal shocking abuse of animals prior to their deaths.

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