UK: Food Standards Agency revokes slaughter licences

By Chris Mercer | 21 January 2013

The UK's Food Standards Agency has revoked the licences of slaughtermen at High Peak Meat Exports, after a video depicting animal abuse was posted on YouTube.

Food officials said the footage, filmed by Hillside Animal Sanctuary, provided sufficient evidence to scrap the licences of the slaughtermen involved. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) also warned it is investigating the footage, with a view to bringing prosecutions.

Evidence of abuse in the footage includes "excessive use of a stick on a horse", hitting a horse with a rope and having more than one horse in the so-called stun box at the same time, said FSA.

"I was shocked by the footage and that is why we took immediate action to make sure the individuals involved could not continue to slaughter animals," said Craig Kirby, head of approvals and veterinary advice at FSA.

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Action taken against animal abuse in slaughterhouse

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The FSA has been made aware of footage filmed by Hillside Animal Sanctuary and put on You Tube which showed animal welfare offences carried out by slaughtermen in a UK abattoir, High Peak Meat Exports.

The FSA believes it is important that action is taken against people who commit animal welfare offences, so after viewing the film, the Agency immediately withdrew the licences of the slaughtermen featured abusing animals in the footage. This means they cannot continue to slaughter animals.

The FSA is also reviewing the footage and carrying out further investigations with a view to a potential prosecution.

The most serious concerns identified in the footage were:

  • several occasions of more than one horse in the stun box at the same time
  • excessive use of a stick on a horse
  • hitting a horse with a rope

Craig Kirby, Head of Approvals and Veterinary Advice at the FSA, said: 'I was shocked by the footage and that is why we took immediate action to make sure the individuals involved could not continue to slaughter animals. The FSA takes animal welfare at slaughter very seriously, and we will always investigate and take action when we see breaches of the legislation.'

Original source: http://www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/news/2013/jan/horse-abuse#.UP04iHfQP7A

Sectors: Meat & poultry

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