Three workers and the boss of a halal abattoir have admitted causing unnecessary suffering to sheep as they were being killed following a three-year battle to bring the case to court according to Daily Mail UK.
Shocking undercover footage of slaughterhouse brutality at the Bowood Lamb abattoir near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, in December 2014 provoked a public outcry.
The secret filming by Animal Aid showed workers ‘hacking and sawing’ at animals’ throats, as well as sheep being kicked in the head and hurled into metal walls.
All abattoirs must be approved by the Food Standards Agency, but the regulatory body does not check whether halal meat is prepared according to religious rules.
The law requires abattoirs to stun animals before slaughter to prevent unnecessary suffering, but there are exemptions for Jewish and Muslim producers.
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 footage led to calls by campaigners for CCTV to be installed in all abattoirs to prevent similar cruelty, and a ban on the practice of killing animals without stunning them first, which is allowed for Jewish and Muslim producers.
Last year the FSA announced CCTV was being made compulsory in all slaughterhouses across England.