News & Media > Media Releases and Statements > More footage shows animal cruelty and dangerous conditions at Stowport slaughterhouse

More footage shows animal cruelty and dangerous conditions at Stowport slaughterhouse

Mon 22 Jan 2024, 7:00am
  • New covert camera footage captured at Wal's Bulk Meats in Stowport, shows workers jumping on cows, sheep killed without stunning, cows shot multiple times with a rifle while crying out in pain and workers being kicked and chased by animals. 
  • The group behind the footage, Farm Transparency Project, say that they were tipped-off about animal cruelty at the facility by an anonymous whistleblower. The group describes the footage they have released today as "revealing not only systemic and severe animal suffering, but exposing unsafe working conditions and absolute incompetence by workers."
  • Wal’s is the fourth Tasmanian slaughterhouse exposed by the group since December, as part of a comprehensive investigation into the treatment of animals at Australian slaughterhouses. 


Footage and screenshots:

Animal rights campaigners from Farm Transparency Project have released new hidden camera footage from a northern Tasmanian slaughterhouse, Wal's Bulk Meats in Stowport, which reveals extreme animal suffering as well as broken or ineffective machinery and injuries to workers. 

The footage, captured over August-September last year, shows the slaughter of pigs, cows, sheep and deer, who are stunned using a rifle or an electric stunner, which is revealed to be frequently broken and amateurly repaired by workers. Cows are seen to be shot in the head up to six times, while bellowing in pain, then jumped on by workers to force them into the kill room. One worker is chased into the enclosed stunning race by a frightened and enraged cow, and has to quickly climb out through narrow metal bars while the cow attempts to attack them. Another worker is kicked across the stomach and chest by a cow who has become stuck in the knockbox after being shot multiple times. 

The footage also shows sheep and pigs being stunned and slaughtered inside the kill room. Dozens of sheep are seen being electrocuted multiple times, or shot with a rifle when the electric stunner stops working, which happens a number of times. One sheep jumps into the kill room and attempts to run. They are dragged by the legs and sat on by a worker, before having their throat slit while fully conscious. 

Harley McDonald-Eckersall, Strategy and Campaigns Director at Farm Transparency Project, says that the footage from Wal’s was particularly bad, given the clear incompetence of staff and ineffectiveness of equipment used.

"One thing that we can agree on with those who support the slaughter of animals, is that it will never be a nice thing to kill an animal. But what we see at Wal's goes far beyond the general horror of animal slaughter. From cows shot in the head half a dozen times, to broken stunning devices stabbed into the heads of sheep again and again, the level of fear, pain and terror these animals experienced is indescribable and unacceptable."

"Biosecurity Tasmania have reported that they are currently investigating Wal's Bulk Meats, along with the four other Tasmanian slaughterhouses we exposed in December last year. Given what we've seen in this footage, we think that anything less than an immediate suspension of Wal's license to operate is completely inadequate. Not only are animals being routinely abused in this facility, workers are clearly untrained and exposed to unsafe situations, such as attempting to remove a cow stuck in a knockbox that is clearly unsuitable for the purpose it is being used for."

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