Animals Beaten, Boiled Alive, Left to Suffocate or Freeze to Death at UK Slaughterhouses

Posted by 3 months ago | Permalink | Comments (21)

Shocking new data released by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) provides a glimpse into the immense suffering inflicted on animals killed by the UK meat industry.

According to the FSA, there were more than 4,000 severe breaches of animal-welfare regulations over the past two years at British abattoirs.

The incidents, recorded by vets and hygiene inspectors, are classified as severe if they cause animals “avoidable pain, distress or suffering”. They ranged from individual acts of cruelty and neglect by abattoir workers to systemic failures, such as faulty equipment and poor processes. Such incidents are occurring, on average, six times a day. And often, a single incident – such as an overheating transport lorry or a production line fault – can affect hundreds of animals.

Here are just a few examples of the recorded incidents:

  • Many animals arrived for slaughter in appalling conditions – emaciated, too weak to stand, suffering from diseases, or with fractures or open wounds.
  • Hundreds of other animals died during transport before they even got to an abattoir. In one case, 574 chickens died after being left on a lorry in very hot conditions. In another, 165 chickens died from hypothermia after being transported in the freezing cold. In yet another, 33 pigs were found to have died from suffocation during the journey to slaughter.
  • Birds are often “overstocked” during transport and left inside cramped crates for up to 20 hours at a time.
  • There were thousands of instances of animals who were not stunned properly – or at all – before they were killed.
  • Chickens and pigs were boiled alive by being immersed in tanks of scalding-hot water used to soften their skin and remove hairs or feathers.
  • Animals such as sheep and pigs were dragged and lifted by their ears, horns, wool, or tails.
  • Staff actively abused animals on many occasions: for example, a cow was “violently slammed” against a wall following an argument between two workers. One worker beat three bulls with wooden sticks and an electric prod, and a haulier was caught on CCTV hitting and kicking cattle during unloading.

And these are only the incidents that were reported. It’s highly likely that many more instances of cruelty take place that never make it into the official logbooks. As a representative for the meat inspectors’ union commented: “Simply there are not enough staff to monitor animal welfare in areas like the killing rooms”.

It’s deeply disturbing that the already inadequate regulations that are supposed to safeguard basic welfare for animals killed for meat in the UK are being violated on a daily basis. However, in a system that slaughters 900 million animals a year and treats sentient living beings as disposable commodities, cruelty is inevitable.

Please don’t support the industry that does these horrific things to animals. Instead, choose a compassionate, meat-free diet instead. Our free starter kit has all the information you need to get started – order or download a copy by filling in the form below.



  • Crystal commented on August 30, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Humans are becoming greedier and more cruel and evil by the day. Humans are not superior to animals. Why should animals suffer discrimination for being a different species they are just like us we are mammals therefore we are animals to! If humans want this beautiful planet to be ruined they are going the right way about it. Why can’t we all appreciate the beautiful . Intelligent and fascinating characters each and every animal has. I dream of a world where animals are equal to humans and we all have the same rights. It breaks my heart to think of these poor sentient beings being abused and suffering right this second. In my own way i will pray for them and grieve for them and get involved with as many demonstrations, rallys, charity events, petitions, lobbying as it takes until animals receive the respect they deserve
    PETA must never give up!

    • marguerite white commented on September 1, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Good for you Crystal you are one of the true good people for animals.

      • Jill Bulman commented on September 15, 2016 at 4:01 pm

        I agree. Surely there is something that can be done to monitor what goes on in these places? Unless all slaughter men are vicious, cruel and moronic I would have thought they would welcome camera surveillance and ask the Government to authorise this and DEFRA to inspect them.

    • Julia Savory commented on September 12, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Can anyone advise me how best to lobby my local politician?

    • Paul London commented on September 20, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      I agree with the statement that PETA has made in that humans are becoming more self obsessed and selfish as every week goes by. Cruelty and abuse to animals is at a level which can no longer be tolerated.
      Have we got to the point that we are so blinkered, insular and selfish that anything outside our own little world is irrelevant? Have we got to the point that we have now become so selfish that we turn a blind eye to everything? People who when confronted with something then turn around and say “well thats how it is” and then walk off an and ignore it – this is gutless and selfish. Stop, think and become human again, when you see animals irrespective of what species and they are being cruelly abused, be humans, have the courage that god gave you and step up and do something. You do not have to stand tall in this world but you do have to STAND UP!!!!!! to the wrong that is being done to animals of all species.

  • Dorothy Talbot commented on August 30, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    All this cruelty to these farm animals should be stopped they is no need for any of this cruelty the factories who do this should be closed just so bloody cruel.

  • Carol Rutter commented on August 30, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    How on earth, can this animal cruelty go on this day and age,
    It’s horrific, these animals are not
    there to be abused, and left for dead. These beautiful animals
    should be admired for the beautiful
    cteatures they are. It got to stop
    if you care please make it stop, the picture of the monkey with s rope
    Round it’s neck haunts me.

    • marguerite white commented on September 1, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      Carol Rutter you are so right,the terrible things that happen to all animals always makes me sad and I wish I could stop it all.I think thats why lots of us activists forever march or fill in petitions for the animals and hoping that eventually there life would be better.

  • Catherine O'Reilly commented on August 30, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Please send me meat free diet

    • Dan commented on August 31, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Catherine,
      Order your free starter kit here:

  • Davanne Evelyne commented on August 31, 2016 at 9:32 am

    it has to stop NOW !!!!

  • Sirpa Reinikainen commented on August 31, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    This kind of discusting brutality and abuse of animals to be killed can not be understood by anyone who cares for animals and their rights. I just hope that PETA has more to do than to offer vegan starter kits for us. This must be made as public as possible in media to get wide attention and cause shame and lack of income to the industry. Vegans can not have enough influence to make the change for animals now and there. The people who buy meat but not from places that are this brutal, they can be listened. Please start a petitition for people to say that the treatment of animals must improve and be checked if they want to keep the customers. The law also should protect these animals from brutality if it does it for pets and other animals. They deserve better live till last moments. This kind of brutality must be made illegal.

  • Barb commented on August 31, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    i wonder if farmers insurance payout of dead animals would make them accountable for how many animals they pack onto a lorry for transport.
    This surely would make them ask to see the driver’s log book and to find out how many other animals, in total, would be travelling together with their animals.
    Then get the driver to sign a form sstateing that this has been checked. Otherwise no insurance payout. Something radical has to happen. I know farmers put their animals on the lorry and say “that’s the end of them now”. It shouldn’t be because the farmer should be respobsible for all their animals from birth right through to slaughter. Why can’t they care for their animals instead of laughing at all the prifit they make

    • Barb commented on August 31, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      Sorry I was so exasperated I forgot to check my typing on the comment I’ve just made, which as you can see is not good.

  • louis gauci commented on August 31, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    ONE ASKS! Actions are being taken to stop this cruelty and have there been any arrests in connection with these abuses?

  • Linda Sherrard commented on September 3, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    BUY BRITISH *??*!!!!!!!
    expose expose expose

  • Julia Savory commented on September 5, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Vegan starter kits are not the answer. The answer is education of the general public. A lot of people don’t even think about where the meat comes from. I think that like minded people should come together and start fighting in a coherent fashion for animal rights in the UK. The UK should be a bastion of good practice. Is there any such group of people working in a joined up way?

    • Mo commented on September 18, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      I could not agree more,everybody needs to do as much as possible,as soon as possible ,with leaflets,stickers,video clips,that can easily and cheaply be supplied by Peta or any other organisation that would like to get involved.
      Education of the general public is the main thing!

  • Ivan commented on September 10, 2016 at 10:19 pm


  • Eleanor commented on September 12, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Where can I ensure I’m getting humane and responsiblely sourced meat? I’m frustrated by petas only solution being to turn vegan, this isn’t a realistic goal for the majority, if we can get people to champion the cause of animal welfare and eat less meat that is a realistic and positive step – but the majority won’t become and stay veggie.

    I truly care that the meat industry is so dysfunctional and cruel. I don’t want to support industry’s meat dairy or leather that cause unnecessary suffering. I also don’t think being vegetarion is realistic full time for me and my family. On the occasions (Christmas , dinner party’s etc) when meat is huge part of family celebration and culture, how do you ensure you’re getting really ethical meat?

    • Holly commented on September 13, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Hi Eleanor, obviously, It is not possible to “get” “ethical meat” an animal has to die! so that you can eat it.!, you don’t get more unethical than that!

      I thoroughly support Peta in its continued efforts to encourage people to abstain from eating meat and dairy. If you truly care about the “dysfunctional and cruel meat industry” and animals, then becoming a vegan is the only way.

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