News and updates about Australian slaughterhouses / abattoirs
Knackery video: RSPCA won't press charges
This article relates to the following facility: Laverton Knackery (Aussie Abattoirs)
A knackery accused of the brutal treatment and inhumane slaughter of former racehorses will escape prosecution after the RSPCA decided covert footage of beasts being dragged across concrete by a rope tied around one leg was not sufficient evidence to lay charges.
The animal welfare groups that exposed the Laverton knackery in Melbourne, which supplied pet food to zoos, are outraged that official investigations have amounted to nothing.
"I don't know whether the knackery has to drag half-dead horses to their doorstep before they prosecute," a spokesman for the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, Ward Young, said.
"We basically handed it to them on a platter.
"If something of this nature, which was so distressing, couldn't get a prosecution, what can?" he said.
The coalition plans to stage a protest against wastage in the racing industry during April's Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens.
Animals Australia lodged a formal complaint about the Laverton knackery with Victorian meat regulators in December last year, prompting official investigations by PrimeSafe and the RSPCA.
The group was informed this week by the RSPCA that no animal cruelty charges would be laid against the slaughterhouse, but was assured it had been issued with a formal warning and had improved some practices.
"The cruel treatment of horses witnessed in this case is indicative of the much broader, systemic problem of the lack of monitoring and regulation of domestic abattoirs and knackeries," Animals Australia spokeswoman, Lisa Chalk, said.
She said all domestic abattoirs should be forced to install CCTV systems to ensure animal welfare was properly monitored.
A man who described himself over the phone as a "worker" at the Laverton knackery, but would not give his name, told Fairfax Media yesterday: "We've done nothing wrong in the first place. We've been here for 70-odd years, this company."
The RSPCA said it remains distressed by what was captured on film at the knackery.
"The RSPCA was very concerned and distressed by the footage we received and some of the practices it contained, however based upon the information received on this occasion, it is of the opinion that there was inconclusive evidence to support a charge of animal cruelty in this instance," RSPCA Senior Inspector Daniel Bode said.