It shows a worker swinging tiny piglets by a back leg and smashing their head against the wall – one continues to kick for at least 10 seconds. In addition, according to Animal Equality, it features ‘piglets screaming in agony as the tips of their tiny teeth are clipped off without pain relief, terrified pigs being shocked repeatedly with an electric prod to force them onto the slaughter truck, and a tiny piglet frothing at the mouth, having been thrown onto a pile of dead piglets and left for dead hours earlier’.
Veterinary expert Professor Andrew Knight from the University of Winchester’s Centre for Animal Welfare viewed the footage and confirmed that it showed ‘inhumane handling and killing of piglets’ as well as ‘excessive and inappropriate use of an electric prod likely to cause pain and fear’.
#TheList former company director William G Woodward, born 18/01/1986, of Redhouse Farm, Catesby, Daventry NN11 6LW and employees Artur Lewandowski, born c. 1984, of Ribble Drive, Darlington DL1, Kabeer Hussain, born c. 1964, of 58 Brantwood Road, Bradford BD9 6QA, and Kazam Hussain, born c. 1973, of 179 Haworth Road, Bradford BD9 6NT – caused suffering to sheep as they were killed
Abattoir boss William Woodward and slaughtermen Artur Lewandowski, Kabeer Hussain and Kazam Hussain admitted causing unnecessary suffering to animals after secret footage of halal killing showed workers HACKING and SAWING at sheep’s throats. The secret filming by Animal Aid also showed sheep being kicked in the head and hurled into metal walls.
The footage was passed on to the Food Standards Agency.
Howard Shaw, prosecuting for the CPS on behalf of Defra, told the court the footage revealed, “a large number of sheep were caused to suffer unnecessarily”.
Under the halal code, animals are supposed to be killed quickly, with a single sweep of a surgically-sharp knife. They should not see the knife before they are slaughtered, or witness the death of other animals.
But the Animal Aid video revealed how many of those practices were being flouted.
Its secretly installed spy cameras showed staff taunting the animals, waving knives in front of them, smacking them on the head and shouting at them.
The halal code also states that animals be allowed to lose consciousness for 30 seconds before being moved on to the next stage of slaughter in a bid to minimise suffering.
But footage showed slaughtermen Kazam Hussain and Kabir Hussain waiting between one and 11 seconds before the animals were sent on to be strung up by their back legs on the processing line, still conscious.
Animal Aid footage played to the court showed at one point Kazam and Kabir dancing and singing as they killed the sheep.
The footage also showed conveyor belt operator, Artur Lewandowski picking a sheep up by its fleece at the neck and at one point pulling his fist back as if to punch a sheep which was resisting, as it was sent towards the area where they were killed.
Mr Shaw told the court: “There’s one incident where the sheep is struggling. He draws back his fist in a punching motion but doesn’t actually punch the sheep.
“He almost throws the animal on to the conveyor belt by its fleece.”
The court heard that the two slaughtermen were professionally qualified and licensed and killed the sheep in accordance with regulations on halal slaughter when watched by the on-site vet, Pedro Benitez.
But Mr Benitez had witnessed animals being given less than 20 seconds to lose consciousness the previous year on the abattoir’s CCTV system and raised his concerns with director William Woodward.
Mr Woodward’s response was to accuse him of “spying” and lodge a complaint against Mr Benitez with the Food Standards Agency. He also refused to allow him further access to the room where the CCTV monitor was situated.
The undercover footage by Animal Aid provoked a national uproar, sparking protests outside the premises and condemnation from the Muslim Council of Britain.
The Government has now introduced legislation that makes CCTV mandatory in slaughterhouses.
In sentencing, District Judge Marie Mallon told former director Woodward: “It was your business. The suffering was extreme, and it wasn’t an isolated incident.”
Sentencing: William Woodward – 20-week suspended prison sentence; ordered to pay £5,080 towards prosecution costs.
Artur Lewandowski – 150 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay costs of £160.
#TheList David K Blake and Anneke Maria Blake, owners of the Worton Organic Garden, Worton, near Cassington OX29 4SU and their employee, Jenejio Marques Fidel – for the illegal and inhumane slaughter of a ten-week-old piglet
The piglet had its feet bound before being illegally slaughtered in a way that inspectors said would cause a ‘prolonged death’.
The business owners David and Anneke Blake appeared alongside their employee Jenejio Marques Fidel, who carried out the unusual slaughter.
The court heard how officers from Oxfordshire Trading Standards first visited the farm in May 2017 after getting a complaint about illegal slaughter of animals.
When asked about the slaughtering of pigs, the Blakes admitted to the slaughtering of a 10-week-old piglet by Marques.
The court was shown the knife which Marques used to kill the pig.
They revealed the method of slaughter was by binding the feet of the pig then stabbing it through the heart.
This method of slaughter was identified by a Defra veterinary officer as leading to a ‘prolonged death’ and causing ‘distress and unnecessary suffering’.
The meat from the pig was then sold and eaten at the farm cafe, despite not complying with UK food safety legislation.
When officers went back for a second visit, they discovered evidence of medicines being used to treat pigs for worms.
But when questioned, Mr Blake admitted he did not keep any records on administering the medicines – a requirement under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.
Again, the regulations are intended to ‘ensure the integrity’ and safety of food destined for human consumption.
The Blakes and Marques all pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and were apologetic for their actions, which they said was out of ignorance of the law.
They also gave assurances that they would follow the legal requirements in future.
David and Anneke Blake and their employee all admitted failing to comply with regulations relating to the welfare of animals at the time of killing. David Blake also admitted to failing to record details of veterinary medicinal products.
Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for trading standards Judith Heathcoat said: “Rules are in place around the slaughter of animals and the keeping of livestock records for very good reasons, ensuring the safety and integrity of our food chain, not forgetting the need to prevent unnecessary suffering to animals.
“The vast majority of livestock keepers maintain very good farming standards and we will not tolerate those who undermine the system.”
Sentencing: David Blake – fined a total of £664 and ordered to pay £2,000 court costs and a £38 victim surcharge.
Anneke Blake – fined £230 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
Marques, who gave his address as Rectory Cottage, Worton, was fined £150 and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge.