News and updates about Australian slaughterhouses / abattoirs
Animal rights group says it won't show alleged animal cruelty footage to police
This article relates to the following facility: Gathercole's Wangaratta Abattoir (Aussie Abattoirs)
An animal rights group claims it has uncovered footage of cruelty to sheep at an abattoir in Wangaratta in Victoria, but has no plans to show it to police or the RSPCA.
The group Aussie Farms could not absolutely confirm that the footage was from the abattoir, but said it was very confident.
The footage shows the slaughter room of an abattoir, with sheep being slaughtered while still conscious, not having been stunned.
The footage is dated from April and May last year.
There are no identifying company logos or other proof of where the abattoir is located in the video.
However, regulators have confirmed they're investigating an abattoir in the Wangaratta area.
Aussie Farms' executive director, Chris Delforce, said the footage had not been handed to authorities because he did not think they would respond.
"We've had a number of abattoir exposes over the last few years, abattoirs and piggeries, where we've taken the footage to the police, to the RSPCA and the response has been very disappointing. A number of dead end prosecutions."
Mr Delforce said the footage was important to show because he said it showed the standards "that we see in abattoirs right across the country".
"I think it's important that people are able to see this for themselves, and know that the meat or animal products they're buying from the supermarket are not coming from a happy experience at the abattoir."
The ABC has contacted the abattoir in question, but calls have not been returned.
Victoria Police has confirmed it has not received any animal welfare complaints relating to the footage.
Primesafe, Victoria's meat processing regulatory body, said it became aware of the footage on Monday and immediately initiated an investigation into the issue.
Having visited the Wangaratta site, Primesafe confirmed that the footage was taken at the abattoir.
The slaughterman captured in the video has since been relieved of duties, pending investigation.
The Sheepmeat Council of Australia said in a statement that it worked closely with government and with animal welfare groups such as RSPCA on animal welfare issues.
"The industry is committed to a culture of continuous improvement across all facets of farm operations."