News & Media > Media Releases and Statements > Slaughterhouse owned by 2024 Tasmanian of the Year facing increasing pressure with the release of new hidden camera footage

Slaughterhouse owned by 2024 Tasmanian of the Year facing increasing pressure with the release of new hidden camera footage

Tue 2 Jan 2024, 7:00am

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  • Animal advocacy group Farm Transparency Project has released new footage from The Local Meat Co, showing cows and sheep being beaten and ineffectively stunned before slaughter. 
  • Some footage of the Local Meat Co was exposed in December, alongside four other Tasmanian slaughterhouses, but the full footage has only now been released to the public. 
  • The slaughterhouse is owned by 2024 Tasmanian of the Year, Steph Trethewey, who bought the business with her husband in 2022.

New hidden camera footage from a slaughterhouse owned by 2024 Tasmanian of the Year shows ‘sustainable beef’ cows shot with a rifle up to eight times before losing consciousness and forced into the kill room using a hammer and a metal pipe. Investigators also captured footage of workers jabbing sheep and cows with painful electric prodders, including in the face and genitals, as well as beating, kicking and throwing sheep to the ground. 

One cow is documented crying out in pain after having been shot in the head multiple times, while others become stuck in the stunning box and have their head crushed in the machinery, while they continue to display signs of consciousness. 

The footage is part of a comprehensive investigation of five Tasmanian slaughterhouses, which showed systemic violence, cruelty and illegal activity. In response to an initial release of footage from all facilities, the state government announced the initiation of a taskforce to review existing animal welfare regulations, however the investigators behind the footage say that the response is “absolutely inadequate.” 

Harley McDonald-Eckersall, Strategy & Campaigns Director of Farm Transparency Project, says that they are releasing more footage to the public, to demonstrate exactly why immediate action needs to be taken by the state government.

“We installed cameras at the Local Meat Co for just two days. In that small amount of time, we documented some of the most brutal treatment of cows and sheep we have witnessed in recent years. By allowing this slaughterhouse to continue operating in the face of this footage, the state government is sending a message that this kind of treatment of animals is ok and will lead to no ramifications.”

“Instead of suspending this facility while a thorough, independent investigation takes place, the government has chosen to launch a taskforce to review existing animal welfare regulations. Not only is this taskforce led by representatives from the animal slaughter industry, who have a strong interest in preserving current practices, it fails to take into account the fact that our footage reveals multiple violations of existing state and federal regulations. If slaughterhouses in Tasmania are routinely acting against current legislation, why should anyone believe that they would respect new regulations?”

Farm Transparency Project captured the footage across August and September 2023, when investigators illegally entered and installed cameras at some of Tasmania’s largest slaughterhouses. The group is calling on the Tasmanian government to immediately suspend the operating license of all the facilities where illegal activity has been uncovered, and to immediately order mandatory, publicly accessible CCTV in all licensed slaughterhouses.

In an email to Farm Transparency Project, Stephanie Trethewey has denied owning the abattoir and threatened legal action, despite a wealth of evidence including ASIC records, domain registrations, and the company's own website and social media pages.


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