Alleged welfare breaches at horse abattoir

As the meat industry was left reeling in the wake of the horse burger scandal, Sky News revealed undercover footage that alleged serious welfare breaches at a UK-based horse abattoir.

Working in conjunction with activists from Hillside Animal Sanctuary, the news organisation claims to have recorded animals being beaten, neglected and a number of illegal procedures carried out at the High Peak Meat Exports abattoir near Nantwich, Cheshire.

According to Sky, investigators at Hillside fitted secret cameras, which filmed horses being beaten with an iron rod to encourage them into the pens, and, on one occasion, a group of three were stunned together, in breach of the Welfare of Animals Act 1995.

Craig Kirby, head of approvals and veterinary advice at the Food Standards Agency (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.