News & Media > Media Releases and Statements > Victorian slaughterhouse re-exposed by hidden cameras, 10 years after cruelty allegations

Victorian slaughterhouse re-exposed by hidden cameras, 10 years after cruelty allegations

Tue 5 Mar 2024, 7:00am
  • Farm Transparency Project has released new footage of the slaughter of cows at Gathercole’s slaughterhouse in Wangaratta.
  • The footage shows cows seemingly still conscious after multiple shots to the head, thrashing and kicking while workers pull them by their tails and poke them with sharp objects. 
  • Gathercole’s Wangaratta slaughterhouse was investigated by the same group in 2014, with footage showing the incorrect and painful stunning of pigs and lambs.

Photos and footage: https://www.farmtransparency.org/facilities/59c0f-gathercoles-wangaratta-abattoir 

New hidden camera footage captured in January of this year shows cows shot in the head multiple times with a handheld bolt-gun, and continuing to thrash, kick and blink as they slowly bleed out. The footage was taken at Gathercole’s Wangaratta, a multi-species slaughterhouse which kills cows, pigs, goats and sheep across two separate kill rooms. The group behind the footage, Farm Transparency Project, says that they will be releasing footage of the slaughter of other species in the next month. 

Gathercole’s Wangaratta slaughterhouse was previously investigated and exposed by Farm Transparency Project (then Aussie Farms) in 2014, with footage showing the ineffective stunning of pigs and sheep being published on the group's website and used in the feature length documentary, Lucent. In both instances, investigators used covert cameras to secretly record workers as they killed pigs, goats, sheep and cows. 

Farm Transparency Project spokesperson, Harley McDonald-Eckersall, says that the evidence of consciousness in the cows was not only distressing, but illegal. 

“In Victoria, slaughterhouses are licensed by a government body whose job it is to ensure that these facilities abide by the extremely minimal standards that exist to protect animals from pain and suffering. What we’ve seen time and time again is that the killing of animals for food is never quick, it is never painless and it is never respectful.”

“Every animal who is killed in a slaughterhouse experiences fear and pain. For every one, their life is taken from them years or sometimes decades before they would otherwise have died. There is no way to do this humanely. By exposing this footage we want to encourage a national conversation about whether any of this violence and brutality is actually necessary.”

This marks the 13th slaughterhouse exposed for cruelty by Farm Transparency Project since March last year, with a pledge to expose 17 more by the end of this year.

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