Alarming NSW abattoir review

A recent review by the NSW Food Authority has uncovered animal welfare breaches at every domestic slaughterhouse in NSW.

PUBLISHED ON: 29 May 2012

All of us want to see animals protected from cruelty. Yet in Australia, the largest group of animals in human care — farm animals — see the insides of places most of us would never want to visit: factory farms and slaughterhouses. Sadly, the reality recently uncovered inside NSW slaughterhouses is worse than you might expect.

There's no doubt that public concern for animal welfare in Australia is growing, and with it pressure is mounting on governments to do more for animals. So in February, when Animal Liberation NSW released footage of gross mistreatment of animals inside the Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors (in outer-Sydney) which led to cruelty charges, the NSW Food Authority quickly began a review of all domestic slaughterhouses for sheep, cattle, goats and pigs in NSW.

What they found might shock you: The review uncovered animal welfare breaches at every domestic slaughterhouse in NSW, including "incompetency of slaughtering staff"; compromised welfare of animals delivered after business hours; and ineffective stunning — meaning some animals were likely being slaughtered whilst still conscious.

This troubling news comes only a few months after disturbing footage, provided to Animals Australia, forced the permanent closure of the LE Giles abattoir in Gippsland, Victoria.

(While this footage prompted the Victorian government to also conduct a review of animal welfare standards in Victorian slaughterhouses, it has not made the results of that review public.)

Despite a clear failure of the industry to self-regulate, the NSW government's new system again relies largely on more self-regulation, requiring abattoirs to employ an animal welfare officer on site and supply additional training for staff. The NSW Minister for Agriculture has so far rejected animal welfare groups' calls for mandatory CCTV cameras in all slaughterhouses. Make your voice heard.

While regulations and standards failed to protect these animals, the reality of factory farms and slaughterhouses is that even when there are no breaches of regulations, whenever animals are handled and slaughtered on mass there will be suffering and fear.

Few of us would want to set foot inside a factory farm or slaughterhouse. Animals aren't given that choice. However, by making informed and compassionate choices we can help protect animals, even when laws and regulations fail them.

You can help:

  • Demand CCTV in all slaughterhouses.
    Without a watchful eye, animals are at risk of even greater cruelty. Help call for stronger independent monitoring, with the installation of CCTV in all slaughterhouses.
  • Help animals with every meal!
    At every meal we make a choice about how we treat animals. The animals need us to make that choice an informed and compassionate one. Take the pledge to take animals off your plate and help protect animals from cruelty.

Love animals? Subscribe and help end animal abuse:
I've read and accept the privacy policy
Like Animals Australia On Facebook
We all know that eating vegan is better for your health, animals and the planet. But sometimes you just want a big bowl of the hearty, familiar foods you know and love. These recipes are for you. Dig in » »

Lyn White, Campaign Director at Animals Australia, spoke to audiences across the country — and asked one simple question: 'Does history have to repeat itself or is it possible to have a kinder, more peace... Watch now » »

For the first time, an Australian organisation has been selected as a “standout charity” by U.S.-based Animal Charity Evaluators! Animals Australia has been awarded this evaluation in recognition of our efforts... Read more » »

What contributes more to climate change than all the world’s planes, trains and automobiles combined? Hint: it’s not coal and it’s not good for humanity! Read more » »

Our appetite for beef, dairy and fish is wiping out wild animals, and even threatening our own survival. Discover why » »

The sun on their faces. The grass under their feet. A spring in their step. All animals deserve freedom. Watch the heartwarming video now. Watch the heart-warming video » »

Despite the nightly news doing its best to depress, from Australia to Brazil, China to Norway, there is one trait that unites humankind all over the world — kindness. Read on to discover some of the best animal... Be inspired » »

Love a documentary that opens your eyes and expands your mind? These are definitely for you ... Expand your mind » »

What began as a basic love for animals led Ian to find a passion for rescuing roos and other beloved Aussie natives. Read more » »

Investigations have revealed widespread puppy factory cruelty in Australia. Discover the truth, and what you can do to help. Read more » »