Campaigners hoping powers change will lead to Warley abattoir prosecution

The government department which said it would not prosecute a Warley abattoir because footage of alleged animal abuse was recorded illegally has lost its powers of prosecution.

From yesterday (Thursday) Defra’s power to prosecute has been transferred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) department.

Defra said it would not prosecute Cheale Meats in Little Warley Hall Lane, Warley, Brentwood, because footage recorded by charity Animal Aid – showing pigs allegedly being beaten, burned and stunned incorrectly – was recorded illegally and would not stand up in court.

Kate Fowler, head of campaigns at Animal Aid, said: “We are heartened that future decisions about slaughterhouse prosecutions will fall to the CPS.

“We hope that this change will lead to the individuals recently filmed allegedly burning, kicking and punching pigs at an Essex slaughterhouse being charged and prosecuted.”

Elmkirk Ltd, owners of Cheale Meats, said two workers were sacked over the incidents and the footage was edited to make scenes look worse than they really were.

Campaigners from around the country gathered outside Defra’s offices in Westminster on Tuesday to protest against the decision not to prosecute and call for compulsory CCTV in abattoirs.

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