News & Media > Media Releases and Statements > Cruelty still rampant at infamous Tasmanian slaughterhouse, seven years on

Cruelty still rampant at infamous Tasmanian slaughterhouse, seven years on

Tue 30 Jan 2024, 7:00am
  • New footage from Gretna Meatworks has revealed that animal cruelty is still rife, seven years after the facility was originally exposed by Animal Liberation in 2016.
  • Footage, released by Farm Transparency Project and captured in September 2023, shows pigs, cows and sheep still blinking, thrashing and trying to stand for minutes after their throats had been slit, as well as cows who are shot in the head multiple times before they collapse. 
  • A 2016 exposé of the slaughterhouse led to calls for the facility to be shut down, including from the RSPCA. Investigators are now saying that nothing has changed.
  • Gretna Meatworks is the fifth slaughterhouse exposed by Farm Transparency Project as part of a comprehensive investigation into the Tasmanian animal slaughter industry. 

Photos and footage: 

Farm Transparency Project has released footage from the fifth and final slaughterhouse investigated by the group in September 2023, Gretna Meatworks (formerly Gretna Quality Meats). The footage, which was captured using covert cameras installed by the group while trespassing at the property, shows the slaughter of sheep, cows, pigs and goats, and reveals a high frequency of animals being roughly handled and ineffectively stunned by workers. 

Gretna was previously exposed by Animal Liberation in 2016, with the release of footage showing similar violations of state and federal regulations, and pronounced animal suffering. At the time, multiple calls were made for the facility to be shut down immediately in light of the evidence of animal cruelty, however it was ultimately cleared to continue operating.

Executive Director of Farm Transparency Project, Chris Delforce, was involved in both the 2016 and 2023 investigations. He says that it doesn’t surprise him in the slightest that nothing has changed.

“When we released the footage in 2016, there was widespread public outrage and national media coverage. People felt sure that such brutality wouldn’t be allowed to continue unaddressed yet, ultimately, no action was taken either by the facility or the government. Ultimately, its a lot easier for the bodies that regulate and license these places to take no action, and they’ve shown time and time again that they’re willing to turn a blind eye to systemic animal suffering.”

Delforce says that this pattern of government refusing to take meaningful action in response to evidence of animal abuse is repeating itself yet again. 

“What we saw back in 2016, is the same response that we’re seeing today. Animal cruelty will be condemned and new measures will be announced, but nothing will be done and eventually people will forget. This new footage from Gretna is a damning indictment of that attitude. Thousands and thousands of animals have suffered because the government refused to step in and address these issues last time by suspending Gretna’s license to operate. We can only hope that, seven years on from when Gretna should have been shut down, the only adequate course of action is finally taken and the facility is ordered to immediately close, along with the four others where we have exposed severe animal cruelty and breaches or state and federal regulation.”

All footage captured by Farm Transparency Project in Tasmanian slaughterhouses was provided in full to the Tasmanian government in November last year.


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