Slaughtermen fined after undercover footage exposes cruelty
Three slaughtermen have admitted a string of animal welfare offences after being exposed by secret cameras.
Roger Carr, who ran Simply Halal at Moor Farm, near Banham, admitted two charges of failing to comply with regulations for welfare of animals
Carr, 70, of Kempton, Bedfordshire, was fined £400 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
Akhtar Mahmood, 53, of East Ham, admitted 12 offences and was fined a total of £600. A third man, William Lanham, 26, of Browick Road, Wymondham, admitted 10 charges and was also fined £600.
The case was brought to court after secret cameras were installed at the premises during February and March 2016 by the Norwich-based Hillside Animal Sanctuary.
The gruesome video tapes, which showed sheep being killed while still moving, or after being recaptured after escaping from the restrainer, were handed to the Food Standards Safety Authority, which brought the prosecution. The footage was also uploaded to YouTube.
* Some viewers may find the video images distressful.
John Watson, of Hillside, said: “We had hoped that this trial would send a clear signal that anyone abusing animals may end up in court having to explain their actions. However, the judge himself expressed surprise that the maximum punishment he could give to the men was a fine; the message from the court appears to be that very little will be done to punish those that would flout animal welfare laws and inflict terrible suffering on animals.
“Although Britain has some of the best animal welfare regulations in the world, they are rarely upheld and, time after time, our investigators find animals being forced to exist in appalling conditions and suffer a terrifying, agonising death.”
A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said: “Animal welfare is a high priority for the agency and we take all alleged breaches extremely seriously.
“We will investigate allegations and where abattoirs or individuals have failed to uphold the standards required, we will remove their licence to operate and look for prosecutions to be brought against those responsible.”