Freedom of Interest Request- Food Standards Agency

No slaughter is cruelty-free.

There has been thousands of serious breaches of animal welfare in slaughter houses. Most of us choose not to learn more about it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t happening every minute of every day.

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Click the image to find out more about major breaches of animal welfare


Veggie Life got in contact with the Food Standards Agency to request a Freedom Of Information act 2000.

The questions asked were:

1. How many slaughter houses have been shut down in the UK from 2000-present day?

2. What are the reasons for the slaughter houses being shut down?


We wanted to gain a better understanding of what goes on in slaughter houses and what is deemed unacceptable.

The Food Standards Agency responded:

22 slaughterhouses have had full approval refused or have had their approval withdrawn since 2000.

Five of the establishments which had their approval refused prior to April 2011 continued to operate whilst under appeal and were eventually granted full approval.

One establishment gained an injunction against the effect of the withdrawal of approval after April 2011 and appealed this decision. This injunction enabled the establishment to continue operating until improvements were acknowledged by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which meant their appeal against the decision to withdraw approval was upheld.

Therefore, of the 22 slaughterhouses which had their approval withdrawn or refused 16 were shut down.

VeggieLife have selected the main establishments which have been shut down with reasons we find most disturbing:

1. A red meat slaughterhouse had their approval withdrawn in November 2015 due to poor maintenance preventing effective cleaning, poor cleaning procedures, inadequate good hygiene practices, failure to control contamination as a result of inadequate good hygiene practices, and poor management attitude and commitment to the Food Safety Management System based on HACCP principles.

2. A red meat slaughterhouse had their approval withdrawn in April 2015 due to abuse of animal welfare

3. A red meat slaughterhouse was refused full approval in November 2013 following a change of ownership. The approval assessment noted structural and equipment deficiencies, poor cleaning and maintenance that can lead to the contamination of fresh meat, poor pest control.

4. A poultry slaughterhouse was refused approval in March 2013 following a change of ownership. There were deficiencies in structure and equipment, poor cleaning, poor hygiene practices that can lead to the contamination of fresh meat, poor maintenance preventing effective cleaning, poor pest control measures that can lead to serious pest

5. A red meat slaughterhouse had their approval withdrawn in May 2016 due to approval withdrawn due to abuse of animal welfare

6. A poultry slaughterhouse was refused approval in April 2007 due to structure, maintenance, hygienic operation and animal welfare. They appealed this decision and continued operating until approval was granted in July 2007.


An establishment which has approval withdrawn but continued to operate under the terms of a high court injunction;

1. A poultry slaughterhouse approval withdrawn in September 2011 due to serious deficiencies in maintenance, operational hygiene and implementation of HACCP controls. The food business operator gained an injunction against the effect of the withdrawal and appealed this decision. The appeal was upheld in August 2012 as when the FSA acknowledged the serious deficiencies had now been rectified.


James, a student from Manchester says “I always knew slaughter houses weren’t ethical but since eating meat is all I’ve ever known, I haven’t ever thought to do proper research. This information has given me a better insight”.

Overall, there is no nice way to kill an innocent animal and VeggieLife believe no slaughterhouses are acceptable.

If this video makes you feel even slightly uncomfortable, you too should reconsider eating anything with a face.

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