J H Lambert abattoir suspends slaughter workers

Norfolk abattoir J H Lambert has suspended two staff and another from slaughter duties after secret filming by animal activists allegedly revealed incidents of animal mistreatment.

Part of the C&K Group, J H Lambert is the latest slaughterhouse to be targeted by vegetarian charity Animal Aid, which has run a campaign of installing hidden cameras in English abattoirs.

Animal Aid has accused the company’s site in Earsham of poor practice in footage shot over two days in March and April and has brought evidence to the attention of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

J H Lambert MD abattoir Kevin Burrows said the allegation was being taken very seriously and the company did not tolerate mistreatment of animals.

“We haven’t got that evidence to hand at the moment. We are waiting for that evidence and two people have been suspended and a third also suspended from slaughtering duties, all with a view to a further investigation into the incident.”

An FSA spokesperson added that evidence to support potential prosecutions of the slaughterhouse operator and the slaughterers is now being assessed.

Senior FSA vets were said to have visited the site at the time and on-site Official Veterinarians also made additional random checks on slaughtering.

The spokesperson said: “The owner made it clear at the time that he will work with the FSA to ensure such cruelty does not occur again.

“He has undertaken immediate refresher training of his staff and has indicated that CCTV as a tool to record the slaughtering process may well be the way forward.”

Animal Aid campaigns head Kate Fowler said: “There are a number of very serious problems at J H Lambert, not least of which is their method of stunning pigs which, we believe, causes significant suffering to the animals. But the rough handling of the sheep – which are routinely dragged, thrown and hit to get them to comply – shows a shocking callousness towards these terrified animals.”

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