An animal rights group is urging members of the public to reconsider eating meat, after they uncovered a string of serious abuses to animals at abattoirs across the UK.
Animal Aid carried out a controversial investigation which involved secret filming in seven abattoirs over the last eighteen months. What they found was horrific treatment of the animals at six of the seven locations.
Kate Fowler, head of campaigns at Animal Aid, explains that what the organisation has uncovered has “rocked” the industry: “We’ve seen animals kicked in the face, slapped, stamped on, animals picked up by their ears and animals stunned so poorly the were left screaming and thrashing on the floor. So we’re talking about a range of cruelties.”
Despite charges being brought against four of the slaughter houses, in the last couple of weeks they have been dropped. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has claimed that it dropped any charges due to the fact
the evidence was obtained illegally. Fowler believes, however, that DEFRA’s position in the industry may have compromised their judgement: “DEFRA in its dual role as the regulator of the industry and its champion really seriously conflict. We wonder if they’re deciding to champion the industry and trying to brush this disgusting mess that we’ve uncovered, under the carpet.”
Despite failing to get the slaughter houses prosecuted, Animal Aid is now keen to see CCTV installed as standard in all abattoirs, a suggestion that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) supports. Fowler also urges members of the public to contact their MP and ask them to help ensure installation of CCTV goes ahead.
If it does, then the plan to have video monitoring where animals are slaughtered would ideally involve an independent organisation viewing the footage, to ensure abuse isn’t taking place. Fowler claims that this factor is crucial, as in the past, those linked to the industry, like abattoir owners and even vets have either missed or ignored the mistreatment: “Those monitoring should have a genuine interest in animals and not be involved in the industry in some way. Without that animals are doomed to suffer.”
Another, more radical way that Fowler suggests to combat this kind of animal abuse is if people simply stop eating meat all together: “The only way to stop animals suffering in slaughter houses is to step outside and decide not to eat meat. Now I know people might not want to hear that, but it really is the truth and if they watch the footage which shows the things going on, day in, day out in slaughter houses, they’ll realise there is no kind way to slaughter animals.”Tweet