In August 2020, “SOKO Animal welfare organization” uncovered horror conditions in the Gärtringen slaughterhouse (state: Baden-Württemberg, in Germany).
With hidden cameras, activists from SOKO Tierschutz e.V. have uncovered numerous cases of massive animal cruelty in this slaughterhouse.
The video shows terrifying scenes.
The pictures show pigs that are not properly anesthetized shortly before slaughter or cows that are tormented with stick stitches in the anus. This happens in the presence of inactive official veterinarians.
Here is the video, with the title: “the land butcher from the land- Animal torture in the butcher slaughterhouse Gärtringen”
(Note: At minute 1:39 a pig is brutally mistreated.
The animal is kicked in the face and a pipe is rammed into its eye. You can clearly hear the cries of the animal. Then, in the case of the skidding box, sheer violence prevails. The anesthetic fails again and again)
I have today written a letter about this, which I am sending to all the authorities and UK government; requesting that this facility is immediately closed down for good.
You can read a copy of my letter below.
As I have said; if we do get replies then these will be put onto the site for all to view and make their own decisions. Being fair, unlike the Danes that we wrote to about the Mink cull in Denmark; I am expecting the UK government to at least respond to my letter. It may take some time for a response, but ………………..
Yesterday I was provided with disturbing footage (from January / February 2021) relating to chronic animal abuse at a family operated slaughterhouse – one G & G.B Hewitt Ltd, located in Church Lane, Huxley, Chester, England. Over 200 hours of CCTV footage was obtained at this facility, which I understand currently holds a British government approval rating, and has done for many years in a row.
The footage which I have seen (link provided below), has already been posted onto the WAV site, and the investigation related uncovers several illegalities happening inside this particular facility. Despite this, I understand the slaughterhouse has held a British government FSA ‘generally satisfactory’ rating for six years. Standards are far from ‘generally satisfactory’; they are diabolical.
The footage has also been made public by the ‘Animal Justice Project’ (AJP) and claims (as is clearly shown in the footage) that an ‘Official Veterinarian’ was appointed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) of the UK government; their job supposedly being to ‘ensure that all animal welfare requirements are met, and to ensure that animals are spared avoidable pain, distress or suffering’. The footage shows anything but, clearly showing when animals (such as a lame cow) enter the line to be slaughtered, the veterinarian does NOT even look at, or make any effort to inspect the condition of animal, which is one of obvious distress. The footage clearly shows that the official veterinarian is failing in her role to any ensure animal welfare, and as a result is aiding breaches of UK legislation.
Key findings which are shown clearly include:
Piglets appearing to be scalded in a hot water tank whilst still alive, due to slaughter failures; and cows being beaten (in some cases over 200 times) by facility workers (including the use of electric prods by the slaughterhouse manager Mark Hewitt). One particularly distressing scene shows a bull being violently prodded hundreds of times using a sharp stick, which is illegal.
In the footage, the alleged FSA professional veterinarian is not even present in the stun room / locations where animals are killed, which they should be; even though many animals (cows) are showing clear signs of lameness, and pigs with large masses on their legs are forced to move by workers using cruel methods. The language used by workers (not repeated here) against these animals who are clearly suffering, shows what a demented facility full of demented humans is being used with UK government approval.
Veterinary professionals working at the location for the UK government to allegedly ‘ensure that all animal welfare requirements are met, and to ensure that animals are spared avoidable pain, distress or suffering’, have by their own actions, missed the poor handling of animals, the failing stun equipment, the insufficient stun times as detailed under UK legislation, in addition to missing clear signs of consciousness from animals that should have been rendered unconscious by stunning.
The disturbing footage also shows a piglet which should be rendered dead though routine slaughter procedures, being put STILL ALIVE into the scalding tank. We are informed that this poor, unfortunate and suffering animal was simply ‘left to drown’ by the demented personnel operating the slaughterhouse.
Alick Simmons, Former Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer declares after watching the footage:
“The overall impression given is of routine poor practice in premises barely fit for purpose.”
In addition, the slaughtering process fell outside of the recommended 15 seconds by the Humane Slaughter Association (HSA). The investigators claim that in the footage, no worker is seen checking for signs of animal consciousness after sticking, displaying yet another breach of regulations which should be acted on by the official veterinarian.
In a further statement to that above, Simmons says: “There are a number of instances where apparent breaches of the law are shown: incorrect use of electric goads, cattle repeatedly struck with a stick – one appears to be pointed and the (UK) law prohibits the use of such pointed sticks – a sheep is dragged by the horns, severely lame cattle, and one severely lame pig being presented for slaughter. Such animals are not fit to be transported. In several instances, immediately after ‘sticking’, slaughtermen are seen to start dressing pig carcasses”.
“The law requires that pigs are bled for a minimum of 20 seconds. The overall impression given is of routine poor practice in premises barely fit for purpose. The circumstances are made worse by poorly trained and poorly supervised operatives. For example, the handling, stunning, and killing of piglets is barely adequate”.
As a result of the footage, the Animal Justice Project (AJP) is calling for an ‘urgent’ independent review of UK slaughterhouses, and urges the immediate cessation of public funding under the new Agriculture Bill. As an independent organisation, we at WAV fully support these demands by AJP. Under the current system, abattoirs nationwide are eligible for financial aid under the new Agriculture Bill act. This has to change, and now !
We support the words / terms used by Animal Justice Project’s founder Claire Palmer, who declared the findings as both ‘law-breaking’ and ‘extensive’ in (animal) suffering and abuse. This was ‘right under the nose of the vet, and CCTV’, Palmer added.
Our (WAV) final summary of operations at this facility is one of utter incompetence throughout all slaughter processes; of utterly incompetent slaughterhouse management supported by unprofessional, incompetent staff. All this supported by an incompetent official veterinarian, allegedly working for a government Food ‘Standards’ Authority who is located at the facility to ensure that all animals do NOT suffer in their final minutes of life.
The whole process can only be described as a complete fiasco, captured throughout on CCTV in England; a nation that (quite rightly) demands very high animal welfare standards that are compliant to the law and maintained to the highest standards set in accordance with the law. This facility is a circus, not an animal slaughtering facility; it is operated throughout by clowns, one being the slaughterhouse manager Mark Hewitt; in addition, it is monitored by clowns under the guise of the FSA, and thus should be immediately and permanently closed down for both the welfare of sick and suffering animals and human beings who still consume the meat products resulting. Action should be taken against the ‘official veterinarian’ who failed so clearly in the undertaking of their work.
We request your formal request to this letter, the utter fiasco shown, which we will also publish on our site, unchanged, for our worldwide audience to view.
We ask – Is the UK leading the way in animal welfare, with incompetents such as this employed in this hell hole ?
The video footage can be viewed at:
Yours with hope of action and one less slaughterhouse facility operating;
Co Founder – World Animals Voice.
G and GB Hewitt declare:
Established over 50 years – Family run Business
G & G.B Hewitt Ltd is a well established slaughtering company that has built up an enviable reputation over the last 50 years. We pride ourselves on our commitment to provide a professional and speedy service at all times, whilst maintaining the highest quality of work.