Author Topic: History of complaints about slaughterhouse..excuses by industry participants.  (Read 935 times)

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History of complaints about slaughterhouse..excuses by industry participants.
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 09:14:20 PM »
History of complaints over abattoir.

 NEIGHBOURS of a NSW abattoir where live pigs were beaten around the head and other animals killed without being properly stunned have made complaints about the plant's operations for more than a decade.

Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors owner Ken Langley, left, and factory floor manager Philip March at the abattoir yesterday.
[attach=#1]Picture: Dan Himbrechts Source: The Australian

But close associates of Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors, including an agricultural consultant, cattle carrier and a local butcher and breeder, said they had received "only glowing reports".

They labelled the graphic scenes depicted in a video obtained by activists and broadcast on the ABC's Lateline rare but "unavoidable" cruelty.

Police, food standards and animal welfare inspectors yesterday visited the site, northwest of Sydney, accompanied by father and son owners Ken and Glenn Langley.

An investigation into operations at the now-shuttered plant was handed to police and then back to the RSPCA, which has the power to prosecute but may also issue warnings and a fine.

Sandy Madden, who lives across the road, described hearing "excruciating" sounds of animals in pain.

Adam Layton, another neighbour, said he had complained to the NSW Environmental Protection Agency yesterday about blood and effluent being discharged into a nearby river but been told an investigation into a similar complaint was completed last year and no wrongdoing was uncovered.

However, Mr Layton said an investigator had told him the complaint related to a different location.

Mr Layton also said that, less than a year ago, dazed cows with broken legs had to be rescued from his garden after a truck visiting the plant left its rear gate open and several cows fell out. During interviews with other neighbours, who asked not to be named, The Weekend Australian viewed a cache of documents dating back to the late 1990s, including correspondence with council and local MPs, detailing alleged ammonia leaks, poisoning and pieces of animal carcass carried by birds on to adjacent properties. Although one case went to court, no prosecution was recorded.

Attempts to contact the Langleys yesterday were unsuccessful.

Grant Chalk, an agricultural consultant who visits the plant regularly, described claims sponsored by Animal Liberation and relayed by the ABC as a "beat up".

"It could even be a set up," Mr Chalk said.

He said conditions at the plant had vastly improved since the Langleys took over in the early 2000s. He added that intensive use of cattle prods as depicted in the Lateline video was "standard operating procedure" that could be seen at "any stockyard, any cattle handling (facility), any abattoir".

John Adams, a private cattle carrier whose son, Ricky, works at the plant, told of a scene in which a worker hit a writhing pig with what appeared to be an iron bar.

"If it gets out on the killing floor, what are you supposed to do?" Mr Adams said. "You can't catch it; you can't pick it up. What if it escapes on to a road?"

He complained the ABC had not shown incidents of slaughter in which pigs were properly stunned, which he said was the norm.

Animal rights groups called for closed circuit cameras to be installed in all abattoirs to combat mistreatment of livestock. Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White, who exposed the mistreatment of Australian cattle in Indonesian abattoirs last year, said there was less scrutiny of domestic abattoirs.

by: Milanda Rout and Amos Aikman
    From: The Australian
    February 11, 2012