“As a horse owner I don’t think I have to say much; this is very distressing for me to post! However, people need to know, believe me, I’m writing this through tears…but the public have to know what happens in these horrific kill places. I have said before & will say again, if captive bolt guns are used, they are inadequate at making equine’s unconscious The bolt gun was meant for & is used for bovine’s…a horses skull & brain is set further back; therefore the bolt gun does not have the same effect it does on bovine’s..which means the horse regains consciousness very quickly.!”
“It is also not just the old, sick retired that end up at these evil places…kill buyers look for horses that are healthy & have a good weight on them, those are the horses they get most money per pound for! In all my years of owning horses I have never once sent or let any of my horses go to an auction house; because that is where kill buyers lurk. Being disabled from a riding accident obviously means I can’t ride, & lately not even see my horses, due to pain (they are well cared for & spoilt at a livery yard). But hell will freeze over before I let them go to auction…if you truly love your horse or any animal, you don’t let them go to places like this! When the time comes that my horse has to go, I will move mountains & get there somehow! My face will be the last thing she see’s, my voice the last thing she hears; before crossing Rainbow Bridge!”
Two slaughtermen have been sacked after shocking footage exposed horses being abused at an abattoir.
One horrific image shows a distressed horse appearing to come round from being stunned only to find itself hanged upside down ready to be bled.
Some horses were crammed into slaughter pens in pairs and at one point in a group of three before being stunned together.
Experts said this was against the law.
Under The Welfare of Animals Act 1995, horses cannot be slaughtered in sight of any other horse because it causes them severe distress.
Separately, some injured or sick horses appeared to be left by staff to suffer overnight, rather than being put down immediately.
Last night the Food Standards Agency said it revoked the licences of two slaughtermen after a probe into the video.
FSA head of approvals Craig Kirby said: “As soon as we got the footage and reviewed it we took immediate action to revoke the slaughtermen’s licences.
“That means they cannot work to slaughter animals again. “We will also look to gather further evidence to see if we can prosecute.”
Mr Meldrum yesterday described his shock at what he described as “appalling” animal welfare breaches. He said: “We see three animals stunned at the same time and it is totally illegal and contrary to welfare slaughter regulations.
It’s a significant welfare problem for a number of reasons. It’s harder to render them unconscious in a group and they have a higher chance of regaining consciousness before you’ve completed the procedure.”
The number of horses being slaughtered in the UK has more than doubled in the past five years. FSA figures show 8,426 were put down in 2012, compared to 3,859 in 2007. Horses are sent to the abattoir when they are old, sick, injured or retired.
The shocking footage, to be shown on Sky News today, comes just days after it emerged horse meat had been found in beefburgers being sold across the UK.
Roly Owers, head of World Horse Welfare, said: “The breaches, from what we’ve seen, are throughout – from the care of the animals to the slaughter process.
“Horses are intelligent animals. When they see an animal stunned in front of them, you can only imagine the distress that animal is going through. “There are, without doubt, welfare issues here. It is plain illegal.”
John Watson, of Hillside, said: “It blows away the myth of humane slaughter. There is a misery in that place that is palpable.”
In response, a Red Lion spokesman said: “The incidents, whilst captured on limited filming are not the norm but that of an isolated nature.
“The management view animal welfare and public health with paramount importance.
“Decisive disciplinary action has been taken.”
Footage shows stunned horse waking up just before it is about to have its throat cut
Published on 19 Jan 2013
Horse Abattoir Film Reveals Cruelty & Animal Welfare Breaches in UK – 19 January 2013
Slaughtermen have their licence revoked after campaigners’ secret film exposes breaches of the Animal Welfare Act
Sky News has uncovered shocking animal welfare conditions at a UK horse abattoir.
They include animals being beaten, neglected and illegal procedures in the process of slaughtering British horses destined for European food markets.
It comes amid public anger that some of our biggest supermarkets have been selling beef burgers and other products that contained horse meat
Red Lion Abattoir near Nantwich in Cheshire