Australian slaughterhouses exposed for cruelty (20 so far)
LE Giles & Sons Abattoir
Location: Giles Road, Trafalgar VIC
Owned by: L.E. Giles & Sons
Last known status: Closed
Reopened in 2016 as Victoria Valley Meat Exports.
On the 21st of November 2011, an undercover Victorian animal advocate working under the alias 'Kate' was given access to the kill floor of a Victorian abattoir - LE Giles & Sons Abattoir - which had been operating in the rural town of Trafalgar for 60 years. What she captured on film was a rare glimpse into the inner workings of Australian abattoirs. The footage shocked and appalled authorities who, within hours of receiving a formal complaint and video from Animals Australia, shut the slaughterhouse down and launched a full investigation. Three workers pleaded guilty to cruelty charges.
In her witness statement 'Kate' described how stunning equipment was routinely stabbed into the eyes and ears of pigs and recounted the awful final moments of one terrified pig who had escaped the killing pen before being beaten to death with a sledgehammer. Tragically, another escaped pig ran into the scalding tank.
Animals Australia lodged a complaint with PrimeSafe - the industry regulator - who immediately ordered the closure of Giles Abattoir pending animal cruelty investigations. Charges were laid against five individuals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1996 (VIC) (POCTAA) for alleged acts of animal cruelty.
On 6 September 2012, three of the former employees were prosecuted by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court. The three men pled guilty to the charges and Magistrate Ian Watkins gave the defendants a 12 month good behaviour bond, although no convictions were recorded. Watkins held that the acts were not intentional, and a tougher sentence was not necessary, as the defendants had already suffered enough by losing their jobs.
The charges against the remaining employee and the co-owner were due to be heard in the Morwell Magistrate’s Court on 15 April 2013. The charges, however, were dropped by the DPI without explanation and the investigation was never concluded. Currently, the Trafalgar abattoir remains out of operation.
Australian regulations and standards failed to protect these animals from cruelty but as the footage reveals, even if they had, animals would still have been afraid; they still would have suffered.
Wherever animals are handled and slaughtered on mass there will be suffering and there will be fear. This is the reality of factory farming and slaughterhouses in Australia.
ABN: 46 032 738 023
Further information about this facility may be available on the Aussie Farms Repository: LE Giles & Sons Abattoir