NSW Food Authority shuts abattoir for cruelty

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 10th February 2012

Action by the New South Wales Food Authority has led to the cessation today of slaughtering at an abattoir on the outskirts of Sydney. The location of the abattoir remains undisclosed by the New South Wales Food Authority. The action by the Authority followed its examination of disturbing video footage of acts of gross animal mistreatment.

The video had shown the slaughter of sheep, cattle, goats and pigs that allegedly breached the Food Regulation 2010 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.

Australian standards under the Food Regulation 2010 require that “animals are slaughtered in a way that prevents unnecessary injury, pain and suffering to them and causes them the least practical disturbance.”

A full investigation of slaughter practices at the site is now underway, which involves the RSPCA.

The New South Wales Food Authority said it had a policy of taking any non-compliance of food and animal welfare laws extremely seriously.

The welfare of animals in NSW is also protected under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA) 1979 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulation which are overseen by the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Under POCTA, fines of up to $110,000 or two years imprisonment apply for acts of aggravated acts of cruelty to animals.

The NSW Food Authority regulates abattoirs in New South Wales.

All abattoirs operating in NSW are required to hold a licence and operate in accordance with the Food Regulation 2010. Abattoirs are required to comply with the NSW Standard for the Hygienic Production and Transportation of Meat and Meat Products for Human Consumption.

Anti-abattoir activists from Animal Liberation NSW were the producers of the video recording which was said to include approximately 130 acts of cruelty over six days.

Animal Liberation NSW has been advocating “implementing CCTV camera’s in abattoirs to monitor potential mistreatment of animals, allowing external bodies such as the NSW food Authority to analyse footage a few days a month, alone reducing extreme acts of cruelty”.

The alleged nature of mistreatment of the animals is said to include the following:

  • Overuse of cattle prodding
  • sheep still conscious whilst skinned
  •  hacking at pig’s necks with knives