Howard Shaw Prosecutes Extensive Animal Welfare Abuse at a SlaughterhousePark Square Barristers
Howard Shaw has recently prosecuted a company operating a slaughterhouse in Burnley and several operatives employed at the slaughterhouse following extensive abuse of sheep undergoing slaughter.
The prosecution arose from covert footage obtained by the animal welfare charity Animal Aid, who secreted covert cameras in the slaughterhouse and filmed slaughter operations over two days in March 2017. The offences pre-dated the regulations now in force that require slaughter operations to be recorded on CCTV.
In extensive harrowing footage, lairage operatives were recorded throwing animals; animals were inadequately restrained whilst being slaughtered; and large numbers were released from restraint and hung on the shackle line before properly bleeding out. On many occasions, the slaughterman was recorded hacking at the animals’ necks.
Breaches of the regulatory requirements governing the welfare of animals at slaughter occurred in 94% of the animals slaughtered. Large numbers of animals underwent unnecessary suffering.
The Company was fined; some lairage operatives were fined; and one was made subject to a Community Order. The slaughterman was sentenced to a Suspended Sentence Order.
Howard has a detailed knowledge of the Hygiene Regulations relating to all food businesses. He regularly prosecutes for the Food Standards Agency and prosecutes on behalf of local authorities.