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Slaughterhouse of Horrors: sheep beheaded in front of official inspector

04/11/2019 Updated: 13/12/2021

Animal Equality’s latest investigation reveals horrifying scenes inside Farmers Fresh Wales abattoir in Wrexham, North Wales. We filmed small and emaciated sheep falling through a gap in a conveyor system, while others became painfully jammed in the machinery and were left to hang in mid-air. Petrified sheep who were trapped in the machine were then killed and brutally decapitated. Their bloody, severed heads were discarded in full view of other animals and in one instance, a headless corpse was thrown on top of live sheep further down the conveyor, who were left to struggle under the immense weight.

Shockingly, this suffering took place in the presence of an official Food Standards Agency (FSA) inspector, while the FSA was supposed to be investigating serious allegations of cruelty to animals at this same slaughterhouse. At one point, when asked if he was happy with a dead body being piled on top of live sheep, the FSA officer replied “spot on”.

The investigation comes after another animal protection charity, Animal Aid, exposed appalling images of staff incompetence and brutal abuse of animals in this same slaughterhouse. Their undercover exposé, filmed earlier in 2019, prompted the launch of a criminal investigation by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Despite this ongoing criminal probe – and with an FSA inspector present to witness many issues first-hand – we found further evidence of severe neglect of animals taking place routinely when we investigated the abattoir in July and August 2019.

Slaughterhouses are inherently unforgiving places and this systematic neglect causes even more extreme distress for these terrified sheep.

We demand justice for these vulnerable animals and call on the FSA to take immediate action against Farmers Fresh Wales and the FSA officer who failed in his duties. We’re also calling on the Government to act without delay, making independently-monitored CCTV mandatory across Wales and reinstating the law prohibiting animals from being killed in front of one another.

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