Red Lion Abattoir at Sound Heath, Nantwich

Animal rights campaigners across the country are planning to descend on a controversial abattoir near Nantwich in a bid to close it down.

Hundreds are expected to gather in Nantwich town centre before travelling to the Red Lion abattoir, at Sound Heath near Wrenbury.

The abattoir hit the national headlines last week after secret films showed how staff were treating horses before they were slaughtered.

The filming, by Hillside Animal Sanctuary, was screened by Sky News, leading to two abattoir workers having their licences revoked by the Food Standards Agency.

Meat from horses slaughtered at the abattoir is shipped across to be sold on the European food market.

Red Lion Abattoir campaign posterBut campaigners have launched two petitions in a bid to get the facility closed down, and to install CCTV in all abattoirs in the UK to reduce alleged cruelty cases.

Jackie Winaston Jones, of Nantwich, her sister Ruth, from Anglesey, and friend Nicola Allen, from Staffordshire, are spearheading the protest.

Nicola said: “The fact it is still trading after this with only two staff having their licences revoked has upset a lot of people.

“Wwe as a horse community have heard horror stories about this place for years with no proof.

“We have had people respond that they are coming from as far as Glossop, Bristol and all over.

“The campaign is growing daily and attracting huge support from general public and horse owners alike.”

Protesters are due to gather in Nantwich town centre at around 12 noon this Saturday February 2, before then travelling out to the abattoir.

Nantwichnews contacted abattoir owners Derek and Valerie Turner and we are awaiting a reply.

However, in their initial statement, the owners declared scenes shown by Sky News from the secret film were “isolated incidents”.

105 Comments

  1. Jennifer Rogers says:

    I propose Psychological assessments for all future employees of slaughter houses, and a regulation which ensures that there will always be one person present during slaughter who is concerned with the wefare of the animals.

    Perhaps those interested in the wefare of animals should be encouraged to take these jobs then at least the animals will be treated with some kindness. Unfortunately a lot of people do not have the stomach for this type of work and by choice most people would decline when asked to slaughter there own dinner. I know of two people who are now vegetarian because of the cruelty they witnessed whilst working in an abattoir, however there are plenty of decent folk who carry out their work to the best of their ability and do have a conscience. Regarding the slaughter of animals trained for racing, leisure activities etc, shame on the owners who treat animals like slaves and toss them out when they are done, these people are hateful and need to take some responsibility.

  2. What we actually need is for irresponsible owners to stop breeding horses and ponies that they have no hope of ever finding homes for. This would greatly reduce the number of animals that go for slaughter in the first place.

  3. Angela Hotston says:

    Slaughter houses for horses are inhumane, wrong and unnecessary. Why, if a horse is sick or injured and is deemed ‘only fit for slaughter’ is this not carried out by a person qualified to shoot the horse where it is stabled? This was the way it was done in the past when a horse had to be destroyed we say the ‘knacker man arrive’ and soon after we heard the gunshot. No anxiety caused through travelling long distance, no neglect or cruelty involved. It was a horrible thing to have to do but the man who carried it out at our farm was a kindly soul and I know he genuinely cared about animal welfare. There is nothing pleasant about having to kill an animal wether it’s a horse or any other animal for that matter, but sometimes it’s necessary. If the slaughter of many horses needs to be done, then surely these animals can be sedated first with a painless injection, rather than ‘stunned’ which failed to work on the horses at The Red Lion Abattoir. I know we don’t like in a perfect world but there has to be another way. I support all efforts to abolish all animal cruelty.

  4. For all the people demanding that this facility be shut down – just where do you think unwanted, sick and broken horses will go? Not every horse has the luxury of a ‘home for life’ and if there are no facilities such as Turners, you are condemning them to far worse. More than likely a long, traumatic journey to a continental slaughterhouse. Look at what happened when the US banned slaughter – tens upon tens of thousands of horses were transported to Canada and Mexico, enduring horrific journies, and an even more horrific death at the end. We need more slaughterhouses, not less, and they need to be rigorously monitored to ensure incidents like those in Cheshire aren’t repeated.

    • For those that think this abbatoir and those alike should be allowed to stay open, shame on you all! It is not the fact of it being a slaughter house, sure we need such work to take place. Its the inhumane way in which these animals are being treated! So because their old, ill etc they don’t deserve to die a respected death? They should be made to suffer? There are ways to slaughter animals and by beating and torturing is certainly not the way it should be done!plus I may add why is this being done to horses? Horse meat has no place in the UK. Good luck with the protest and any that may follow

    • Ricky Rogers says:

      Apparently you don’t know what your talking about – As a horse trainer & rescuer myself I can tell you that most of the horses that go to slaughter are quite healthy, they are NOT old and sick like many think they are. Slaughter houses are inhumane and horse meat is poison – do you want that in your food. Horse slaughter has never stopped in the US they have always shipped to Canada or Mexico for slaughter. The solution is cut off the slaughter supply route for the kill buyers and over breeding stops, thus no need for slaughter plants. Also, make equine sanctuaries out of unused land especially land that needs regrowth. Horse slaughter is big business nothing more and nothing less, it has nothing to do with helping our horses. Besides, 80% of WE-THE-PEOPLE oppose any form of horse slaughter!

  5. We need as many people on Friday 15 at 11am.

    All those that were there last time please come, no excuses and as many new people as possible.
    Remember peaceful protest

  6. Wendy Harrison says:

    There is another peaceful protest this Friday at the Red Lion Abattoir, at 11am. PLease come and show your support. If you think I can’t face this, just imagine how those poor horses and ponies feel, this will give you strength and courage. They need us to do this. PUT YOUR HORSE TO SLEEP AT HOME!!

    • Yes get along to the demo ay 11am on Friday 15th February.
      No excuses accepted, we need your support, so whatever you are doing or commited to make sure you are there.

      All those who came to the last demo make sure you are there and bring a friend, husband, wife or partner etc.
      Don’t think because you came last time that that is enough we need to keep this ongoing

    • hi, i came to the 1st protest 2nd feb really wanted to be there today but my boss was unable to change my shift. i really would like to know how it went today. my heart is breaking with what i saw on that video.owned horses myself over the years,and with all this horsemeat i feel violated,our beloved horses shud never ever suffer, hope its closed down asap.

  7. Slaughter of all horses, ponies and donkeys should be outlawed and made illegal. We keep these beautiful animals as PETS and companion animals (myself included). My horse is my joy and mine for life – signed out of the food chain on the day I bought her and when she goes, she will be cremated like any other pet I’ve owned (including rabbits). We wouldn’t send a dog or cat to a slaughterhouse so why should we send a horse? How anyone in this country or any other could consider eating a sentient, intelligent animal is beyond my comprehension. How easy it is to turn a blind eye to everything that upsets us – its about time we all stood together and said enough. But hey, those burgers in the supermarket are CHEAP ..

  8. Sue McAuley says:

    I live in Lincolnshire and have just found out about this terrible place through Hillside animal sanctuary which I support. I have four horses of my own (one of which I’ve had 21 years now) and I love them dearly. God willing that they do not outlive me, they will be with me their entire lives.

    Horses have served humans for thousands of years and in this country we owe them a debt of gratitude for their service to our industries, tp farming and of course to their sacrifices in the first world war. Do poople think we would be where we are today if it wasn’t for horse power? They are intelligent animals and deserve to be treated with respect and care. They are very astute creatures and know what’s going on. When I lost my beloved horse, Copper,recently (He died at Liverpool University Hospital in Cheshire – they couldn’t save him) my old mare was distraught that he did not come back to her and it took months to get her to accept a new friend. News of this place has distressed me immensely… and for those who say well someone has to do it.. well someone should not have to do it and certainly not in these conditions. Those who breed horses indiscriminantly and or train horses and then sell them without any thought to their futures – all should feel guilty too. I was in tears and will be every time I think of this place. People of Nantwich – Get it shut down and to the UK public – Stop the export of horsemeat – it disgusts me.

  9. Carey Ostrer says:

    Sadly I couldn’t come to the protest against the Red Lion slaughter house but I am there in spirit. Its a disgrace that the place is still open for business. We need to send a strong message to other slaughter houses and get those cameras in – it wont solve all the problems, but I do hope some of them. Personally I think the mass killing of all domesticated animals – eg for meat and leather, etc, – is cruel. We are all Earthlings. If you haven’t seen this film you might like to: http://earthlings.com/

  10. if you shut it down they will get travelled half way around the world and there are people in the world starving to death so waste is not needed in this day and age. And more to the point what about all the cruel halal killing and kosher killing thats far worse than this.

  11. Maggie Worsell says:

    Sadly theirv are more Horses than loving owners ,over breeding ,has a lot to answer for especially the gypsy cob
    I do not object to the slaughter of Horses provided it is as

    • would you like to be slaughtered? why horses? why cows? why sheep? why slaughter anything or anyone to EAT it? We do not need to eat a dead animal. Carnivores eat their prey as they kill it. We are not carnivores

  12. Vicky Hardwick-woolley says:

    I couldn’t bare to watch all of this footage,it was so horrible.
    I have a horse who’s retired at 28.. I was so glad to see him in the morning as this really touched a nerve. This place needs to be shut down NOW!!!!! Those poor,poor horses.
    I don’t eat meat so this goes for all animals as im sure this sadly isn’t an isolated incident.

    All animals going to slaughter should be handled with dignity and care. I WISH no animals had to die like this but humans are mind set that this is the way we’re ment to eat. I haven’t eat meat or fish for years and im fine.

    PLEASE get this cruelty stopped.. Dose any animal deserve this?

    So,so sad ūüôĀ

  13. I will be there tomorrow – in support of all those innocents who never asked to be born yet ended up ‘thrown away’ when the going got tough or, through no fault of their own, didn’t make the ‘grade’ that their human possessors wanted. It’s not horrifically expensive to give, what has no doubt been your loyal friend, a humane end at the place they knew as ‘home’ and most vets worth their salt will now will agree a payment plan to help spread the cost. If you can’t afford cremation (which is expensive – my horse cost me ¬£900 for an individual cremation but i had planned for it and she is here at home with me) – the local hunt is a good point of contact. If you just want to ‘offload your burden’ – god help you – you are no better than the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

  14. Dennis I.Leeds says:

    The Law requires ALL animals to be pre-stunned out of sight of the slaughter hall/room,so,why is it not happening?

    There should be absolutely no dispensation for Halal or Kosher abbatoirs who should also be made to obey our Laws.

    Whilst the FSA is allowed to inspect abbatoirs but I suspect seldom does so,therefore, as a double check the RSPCA should be given similar powers.

  15. Karen EL-Rhman says:

    I was so sickend to see what was happening to those poor horses.It is beyond me how anyone could do such a thing.To hear that preagnant mares have the same treatment is so sad. We should not be killing horses and sending them to Europe SHAME SHAME SHAME.

  16. Esther Rooney says:

    Barbaric,sickening,harrowing,disturbing- there just aren’t enough words to describe how vile the act of slaughtering any animal is. I’m so glad I’m a vegan- at least I go to sleep at night with a clear conscience. Most people who claim to love animals also eat them…… Really don’t get that!!!!

  17. We had our much loved horse put down at the beginning of last year, he was bought for my daughter as an 11th birthday presant, she is now 34. He was put quietly to sleep in his stable at the grand old age of 38. It would be a wonderful world if all animals were loved and cared for after their working life ended. Unfortunatly human greed tarnishes everything in this world.

  18. I just wanted to say it’s quite heartening the response this investigation has received. Having run the investigation unit at hillside for 14 years and having done many high profile investigations over the years this investigation really got to me in a way others haven’t, having spent nearly 9 weeks putting cameras up and filming the sad scenes in the lairage pens of horses waiting to be slaughtered the next day will stay with me forever. And as for the red lion abattoir to say all this was an isolated incident, rubbish.. it was going on all the time the 9 weeks we were there.

  19. it is so sad whatever animal and you only need to watch PETA videos and YOUTUBE videos to see the barbaric torture that goes on. We should stop buying meat from large chains and spend a little more on meat from privately much smaller scale butchers. There is no need to inflict cruelty. What did animals ever do to humans.

  20. Nicola Macdonald says:

    Horses should be put to sleep humanely bby a vet.They should NOT go to slaughter house and hung up whilst having their throat slit.:'(.The animals suffer terribly

  21. It is slow Lindy but it is happening. Some people have small brains and short memories. They quickly forget BSE, E.col, salmomella, campylorbacter, etc. and close their minds to the barbaric cruelty. However, today’s Daily Mail has an article stating research that shows veggies and vegans are one third less likely to suffer heart disease and stroke. This mainstream newspaper would never have printed this sort of “health” story even ten years ago. There will come a day. When the end comes for the dark ages of the animals, it will come swiftly, like the world turned against the tobacco industry it will reject the horrors of industrialized farming and it will cease.

  22. Sharon Brock says:

    I hope this place gets shut down,it’s disgraceful how these majestic animals are treated!!Wish no slaughter houses existed,but at least CCTV should be mandatory to prevent situations like this?Good luck to all those people who are doing the protest,I hope lots of people turn up & it had the desired effect.I wish I could be there but it’s abit short notice for me:(I hope that we find out the outcome of this protest?

  23. DREADFUL, THIS SHOULD BE STOPPED AT ONCE ,IT SHOULD NOT HAPPEN TO ANY ANIMAL

  24. First of all I want to thank Hillside for their incredible work and to send my support to all those going on the demonstration. I feel heartened by reading all the comments and to see how deeply many people feel and think about animal welfare.
    One of the things that worries me, though, is that many commentators use the term ‘humane slaughter’ or ‘humane slaughter-house’. I have never visited a slaughter house but have seen quite a lot of film footage, and the process of killing a large animal always looks brutal. Can a person who spends his hours killing animals in a slaughter-house ever be (or remain) ‘humane’, whatever that word means? What kind of person survives in such an environment? Animals are now produced for meat on an industrial scale, and their killing is also an industrial process where a living, sentient being is reified.

    I support all efforts and campaigns to improve animal welfare, to stop live exports, to improve conditions in slaughter-houses, and to prosecute and punish cruel treatment of animals. There still remains the question of how an animal should be killed if it is to be eaten, and whether this taking of life can ever be ‘humane’. There is much condemnation of slaughter practices which do not use stunning such as halal and kosher, but is the practice of stunning itself ‘humane’?
    I like to think that if animals were killed individually, and not on an industrial scale, there might be more room and time for kindness, but when I saw a film which showed a large pig being killed by peasants in the South of France, it was every bit as horrendous as any slaughter-house scene.

    We call giving lethal injections to our pets ‘putting them to sleep’, but the injection is not like a sleeping tablet, and it causes suffering, even if it is of short duration. Many human beings have the ability to ‘love’ and ‘care’ about animals but also to eat them without worrying too greatly about how the animal was killed or the fact that meat was once a living creature. It is put to the back of the mind, we blind ourselves. If we wish to improve the lot of animals, I think we must change our vocabulary, not use euphemisms, and be clear about what we mean and what we consider is appropriate for good standards of welfare and slaughter. We need to think more about our conflicted relationships with the animal world. It would be better not to eat animals, nor to kill them unless they are incurable, but if meat is to be eaten, is there a way we could produce it without inflicting pain and suffering. With respect to all those guilty of using the word, including myself, ‘humane’ just isn’t good enough I’m afraid.

  25. Horses SHOULD NOT be slaughtered at ALL. They should be put humanely to sleep by a veterinary surgeon or sent to a sanctuary .

    There is NO SUCH THING as humane slaughtering. It is terrifying for the animal and it suffers terrible stress before it is dispatched.

    • Christine and Cliff Harmer says:

      We are so glad that this cruelty has been uncovered and that now people are aware of what is happening at this slaughterhouse. If we could join you in the peaceful walk to show solidarity and awareness of the cruelty we would and thank you all for doing this. I hope it is covered in the press and that nothing will happen again like that and that horses will not be slaughtered for meat altogether.

  26. I cannot begin to tell you my horror apon seeing these pictures and how disturbing it all is, and how this is happening in this country with many rules and regulations who claim to have animal welfare rights in place.

  27. Not only should these horror houses be closed down but there should be a ban on live exports from this country…. Animals are still suffering from being transported live from Ramsgate…….Sadly so many animals are regarded as nothing more than a product, either to be killed for human consumption or end up a pet food. I also object to the racing world that exploits the horse and then in a lot of cases the poor animal is taken for slaughter because of costs….. the human species has to realize this world is not just them….

    • I totally agree with you many people just abandon their trusting animals to a fate that none of them could face. Humans have dragged animals into wars, exploit them in ‘sport’ kill them for food and use them in experiments what gives humans the right to do this – is it might? I hope that humans will eventually be humane.

    • patti keane says:

      It would be a really bad idea to close this place down – there is a chance of improving things here now. To close this slaughterhouse down is to ship the problem elsewhere. Lets act to improve conditions, install CCTV and work towards lessening the need for slaughter in the first place

  28. Paula-Jean Geist says:

    I don not eat Meat of any kind.Not only for eating healthly but more for my love of all Animals.It is Barbaric to kill innocent Animals.We are playing God when we decide it’s alright to eat a Cow but not a Cat or a Dog.All Animals feel pain,suffer,mourn the loss of a Baby or Companion.There are many Animals that show more love+compassion that most Humans-sad but true!

  29. Elizabeth Gurney says:

    As a former horse owner (he died of old age) I am shocked to think that we allow these places. Yes, CCTV should be obligatory in all slaughterhouses.
    At the present time there are two major problems regarding horse ownership. The first is obvious: the discarded products of horse-racing, but there are many equines whose owners can no longer afford to keep them due to the economic situation that the UK finds itself in. Most horse charities are struggling to provide help to abandoned animals, and the situation is one of crisis.
    Perhaps we should campaign to make horse-racing better regulated and indiscrimate breeding of horses subject to independent scrutiny

    • I’ve read your comment with regards to the horse slaughterhouse scandal. If someone can afford to own a horse for most it’s ‘useful’ life, how on earth can they not afford to give it a humane death? What bollocks? Shoot it yourself and burn the body is better than sending it to one these hell holes.. As a real animal lover not someone who sees them as any kind of entertainment or working animal, I could never hurt or kill any living creature and if people cant afford to ‘dispose’ of animals they no longer require with dignity they should not ever them at all.

  30. Steve Jones says:

    If you aren’t vegan, you are responsible for exactly the same treatment being dished out to baby chicks, hens, calves, cows, bulls, sheep, and pigs.

    • I agree also. The UK is no better when it comes to animal rights than the Chinese and Asians and other parts of the world. Shame on the Government for not having the guts to legislate severe penalties for all kinds of animal cruelty. Puppy farms are still allowed to exist, so has experiments on animals, and the badger cull is still going ahead despite 147 MPs voted against it and were the majority. Heard on the radio last night that Mexico City has just passed a law of a heavy fine and up to 4 years in jail for anyone inflicting harm on an animal be it domestic of wild, except what they call vermin.
      Also do not believe in the RSPCA Freedom Food logo either. Hillside investigations have highlighted evidence of cruelty and the RSPCA has not removed the logo.

    • marilyn ball says:

      Hi steve you are so true suffering happens to all animals people are outraged because its horse related obviously in their eyes it dosent matter about cows sheep pigs etc . they should also focus on the horrendus cruelty in korea china thailand and so on within the meat trade.it would good for this hellhole to be closed but the suffering will not cease untill there is man no more

  31. Thanks to the fabulous Hillside once again!!!!!

  32. Dave Griffin says:

    Why only Horse Meat ???

    Cows, Sheep and Pigs are wonderful animals too

  33. Afraid I just couldn’t watch it. I was in tears just reading about it. But then most of Hillsides reports about cruelty have me in tears. The human race is pretty self centred on the whole, if we are not killing our beautiful creatures we are killing each other. Locking these people up in a nice warm prison cell with all mod cons wont do. Perhaps a nice slushy pig pen with no bedding and food on the floor to be fought over. Few months of that will maybe make these ‘farmers’ think again.

  34. Monika Courtney says:

    There is,never was humane slaughter.Shocking violations in past slaughter plants are documented it is one of the most predatory industries.Slaughter is not the answer. The mentality of DISCARDING must stop.Inspections are lacking to ensure any aspect of ‚Äúhumanity‚ÄĚ which indeed does not exist but is propaganda. Many countries are out of control with breeding. Not just horses, but dogs/cats who pay the ultimate price for an ignorant society at best. Regulate this excess breeding, increase registration fees, rethink the throw-away approach. The excuses of pro-slaughter folks do NOT reflect a responsible desire to find a morally feasible solution, but embellish their agenda with misleading fairy tales of humane euthanasia, which slaughter is not. The public health threat of adulterated meat is another significant component that is dismissed and reflects the very ill-minded principle of pro-slaughter action.To see how any modern country resorts to such backwards dealings and trends of animal cruelty is worrisome and shameful.Furthermore the finger pointing blame-game of labeling anyone opposing this very propaganda as an animal rights terrorist demonstrates the lack of intelligence and the profit-driven tunnel-vision on the factual substance of the matter.
    The serious public health threat of horse meat is evident. Horses are not raised for human food consumption and the presence of toxic drugs makes horse meat even dangerous enough to be banned from dog food. Bute, Clenbuterol, PBZ (horse aspirin, widely used for Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds) Stereoids and Banamine… are not a cocktail to be fed to unsuspecting humans. Also the risk of a potential Trichinosis outbreak is unsconscionable. People do not eat horses in America, period. Neither should people in other countries !
    There are alternative solutions, horses need no slaughter plant, only a second chance.Hay banks, special programs within rescues, cost-reduced humane euthanasia (administered by a licensed vet) or programs such as the Arizona Dept of Agriculture‚Äôs Equine Rescue Registry –
    http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2010/10/26/state-agriculture-department-launches-registry-to-help-abandoned-horses/
    are available. http://www.vetsforequinewelfare.org/medications.php
    It is the strong position of VEW members that absent any formal regulation or structure by the United States with regard to medications and food safety withdrawal schedules for equines entering the food chain, horsemeat derived from any U.S. horse can never be regarded as safe for human consumption.Furthermore, VEW member veterinarians strongly object to the AVMA and AAEP position in favor of horse slaughter for human consumption. For the AVMA and AAEP to condone the human consumption of meat derived from equines that have not been raised or medicated in a manner consistent with food safety regulations is, in our opinion, unethical, disingenuous, and dangerous.Educate we must.Expose the truth and prevent the “industry” from further using their propaganda of “jobs, economy, humane slaughter etc, to brainwash. Horses don’t need slaughter, only a second chance, and responsible owners. Horse slaughter does nothing but encourage the irresponsible breeding to continue and promotes a dumping ground and a lazy way out.

    • Fantastic well and clearly put argument against the brutal slaughter of horses and all animals. Most people who eat meat have no idea what goes on and as for eating equines it is horrible. But I am also against the long distance transport of horses and all other animals destined for slaughter. World Horse Welfare has been campaigning against the live transport of horses destined for slaughter for human consumption from northern Europe to Italy. The conditions of transport are truly horrific then the poor equines (all ages and all conditions) are slaughtered, they have no food or rest for hours on end. How people in countries like Italy can eat them I really do not understand.

  35. Frances Archer says:

    The concerns I have now if they do close this abbatoir, will they then ship live animals to Europe which is even more harrowing for them, and what jurisdiction do we have in European slaughterhouse to keep checks to see if they are abiding by the rules.
    Are we not chasing this problem away, rather than addressing the problems within our own abbatoirs.

    • This is what happened in the USA. Horse abattoirs were banned but now they are being trucked hundreds of miles to Mexico for slaughter.

      • Thousands of U.S. horses were trucked to Canada and Mexico even when the horses were still being slaughtered in the U.S. Nothing has changed except now more are exported for slaughter. The U.S. has NO food animal requirements for horses exported for slaughter – NONE! No drug history is kept or maintained by any U.S. regulatory authority. They don’t care if they have been drugged…..

    • margaret woodall says:

      I agree, I do not want to see horses slaughtered at all, but I do have great concerns about them being shipped live across halp of Europe in such terrible conditions, suffering for hours on end. The answer is to have CCTV in ALL places of slaughter and NOT to allow the halal method of slaughter to be used in this country at all, animals are suffering every day in this situation and I understand it is being used more and more as a way of killing our animals. It was unheard of years ago, now it is allowed, we should not water down our laws for ANYBODY. Well done brave Hillside, yet again you have done what should be done by other Government Agencies. We MUST have CCTV, if we can have in in the street we can have it where it matters most and anyone disregarding the laws on animal welfare should be sacked immediately.

  36. I hope this place gets shut down.. and the goverment and people who have some power or media status are there, Im sure there are alot of powerful people who could support this campaign come on martin clunes, monty roberts, and even royalty should have some awareness of these dreadful attrocities!! These loving animals serve us well and should be treated with respect, and humanity .

  37. Susan Wright says:

    Thank you Dear people at Hillside for this awesome news. I am absolutely thrilled.
    I can only congratulate you on your unstinting support for these beautiful creatures, they have so much love to give and to see them being treated like this filled my Heart with grief, but no it was not the end, the news coverage that you helped to make possible touched people to the core and then had them decide to act upon it. I will be with you in spirit.
    I did contribute in my own way by sending a request for prayers for the abattoir horses and all animals everywhere to the Shamans in Hawaii.

    I Love You, and your Compassion for all the Animals saved and your determination to stop
    these awful atrocities.

    Sue Wright

  38. Claire Taylor says:

    Iv been so upset over what has been happening to these wonderful creatures some of who must have been children s loyal companions (pets) for years !! , then befall that fate ! i live close to hillside animal sanctuary and give what ever i can afford to help keep hillside going . I contributed to the investigation and feared having seen some of the news reports on the beef burger scandal and some journalists/reporters responses that most people no longer cared i was wrong . Thank you to all the people who do care and are going to Nantwich on the 2nd Feb , i have to work cant go . last year the country was passionate about the film war horse and the plight of equines in the first world war ,equines deserve better iv always been proud to live in a country were we don’t have horse meat butcher shops don’t want this to change long may we stay quirky compared to the rest of Europe

  39. surely the best way to help the horses is to have rules regarding breeding, and more people trained to go to the horses to put them to sleep, this would make it more humane and stress free for them,as yes cctv would be great but it then comes down to who monitors them, when are people going to lift there heads out of the sand, i sent out the video of that terrible cruelty and so many really nice people said oh i just couldnt watch it so upsetting, but that was the whole point of sending it

    • Anna thomson says:

      Agree with what you say Rose…apathy is a terrible thing and more people need to open their eyes to see what is actually going on instead of saying its ‘too upsetting’..most of us AR folk had our eyes opened at one time by watching the atrocities that go on to so many animals and we went on to try to do so something about it!! I wish people would stop burying their heads in the sand and wake up to what’s going on to the innocent horses and other animals who endure the torture and cruelty involved in farming and slaughter.

    • Yes I fully agree – sadly I had to have my own beautiful horse put down after a long fight against laminitis, BUT I made sure she was put to sleep gently and she was unaware of anything – I wish more people would do this – they are our wonderful noble friends and partners and deserve the best we can offer them. Sadly so many people send outgrown ponies off to markets not having any idea what will happen to them, they assume some kind person will come along and buy them to go on for another kid to get tired of! God this has to stop !!!!

  40. Catherine Hill says:

    It is upsetting yes, I have three rescued equines in my care. But it is nothing like as bad as agricultural animals endure. The rule that horses must not be slaughtered in sight of each other, that should go for every animal who ever has to go to slaughter.
    For those of you who have replied, please consider a vegan life choice. It is YOUR choice to stop this happening to ALL animals.
    To say we don’t need horse meat – it’s a disgrace, I would challenge you to watch the film Earthlings and see what really goes on in the animal industries. We don’t need ANY meat. It is mostly all disgraceful.

  41. stacey morgan says:

    The protest is on on Saturday the 2nd of February at Nantwich town centre at 12 noon

  42. Wendy Clark says:

    Like so many other non-human animals, horses are bred for profit. These breeders don’t care about the animals and greed is their motive. The callous attitude of people who say they cannot afford to feed and look after an animal they have taken on is appalling and unacceptable. Many of us have, or are experiencing, financial hardship but this is really not an acceptable reason to dump any animal. Shame on anyone who finds it ok to send their horse to such a cruel death.

  43. Lets get CCTV in ALL slaughter houses.and VETS that don’t look the other way.we don’t want to see the transport of these lovely animals overseas were their treatment would not be monitored.If they have to leave this earth then lets see its done humanely and without suffering .their should be CCTV and a manager that stands over HIS employees to see his workforce are doing it right.

  44. Nigel Goodman says:

    The circus owner whose Rumanian low life labour abused Annie the Elephant that was again picked up on camera got a slap on the wrist on the same grounds – he knew nothing. These owners use the same “isolated – we knew nothing”. They are responsible. Of course they knew what goes on – they want the fastest slaughter – most money. Shut it down.

  45. I wish the protesters well in their venture. This and all abbatoir’s should be operated with compasion. What is needed is improvement at Red Lion. What we do not want is their closure leading to export of live horses to EU abbatoir’s where their treatment is likely to be even worse.

  46. brenda bowering says:

    There will always be violations where the slaughterers are working on a piece rate. They are supposed to stun animals for seven seconds but undercover investigators report that the animals rarely get even two seconds – and with no CCTV cameras you can bet many animals aren’t stunned at all. But piece rate means killing as many animals as possible in a given time, so there’s no room for compassion.

    i recall one horror story where a reporter and photographer from THhe Independent went to a slaughterhouse and even though the slaughtermen knew they were being watched they still committed seventeen violations.

    And please could we all stop calling these killing factories abattoirs. That’s a pretty French word for an horrific place. They are slaughterhouses.

  47. I could not watch the video I am afraid.Cannot understand anyone wanting to eat horses for a start,they have served man and should not be eaten at all! There is too much overbreeding and callous people abandoning unwanted horses. These horses have feelings and deserve better. If a horse needs putting down it should always be by a vet!

  48. Sue Swainson says:

    In my view it is very sad that people like Ann, who I hope does not own animals, can make excuses for those who treat animals so badly. No one should take on the responsibility of an animal without ensuringthat welfare would not compromised should financial situations change – which of course they can without any warning. From the comments on here I feel that Hillside’s exposure of the subject of horse slaughter has made a lot of people quite ashamed of themselves – hence the excuses.

  49. I cannot watch this horrific footage. The photo of the horse at the window as it awaits slaughter is heart-rending.
    If animals must be slaughtered, then this foul act should be accomplished humanely and rapidly with the minimum of stress for the creature. The slaughterhouse employees should be monitored and watched and filmed. Any deviation from strict guidelines for the humane slaughter of animals should be punished. The owners should be held accountable. We talk of these things but nothing ever happens. Again and again cruelty to animals in slaughterhouses in exposed but someone somewhere always gets away with it because there is always a get-out clause/ an excuse/ a ‘valid’ reason why this was a ‘one-off’and there was no follow-up. It all comes down to profit in the end. These creatures are a commodity – used and then abused and then violated so terribly violently.

  50. Rebecca Cattell says:

    Well done to Hillside for getting the film and for the organisers of the protest. We need more people like you in the world – exposing and oppossing such horrific cruelty ! It must have been very mentally harrowing for the investigators, they are very brave. I cannot get to the protest but will definately be there in spirit and will light a candle for all the poor horses murdered at this vile place.

  51. Carole Mardle says:

    Claire you couldn’t have spoken a truer word. It’s not just horses but pigs, cattle and chickens amongst other animals that suffer because of a few nasty, greedy individuals.

  52. As i horse owner i find this treatment very disturbing, yrs ago i heard of similar treatment in another slaugterhouse (now closed), and have also been told by a man i used to work for who had to take 1 of their horses to such a place that it was like “going to hell on earth”, they do need to b closed and the others that remain open need cctv installed in every area or they will do it where they cant b seen.

  53. alice gibbons says:

    Unfortunately, whilst on the surface of things the horse world seems very glamorous, it is a very hard world. I have personally witnessed a livery yard on the Staffordshire/Cheshire border purposefully fatten horses and ponies up, to send by lorryload, to what i now assume to be this very slaughter house. This was regular practice at this Livery yard, they got £ 300.00 per horse. There should be a law to enforce that each horse owner must have their horse humanely destroyed when the time comes on their own premises by a trained veterinary surgeon.Further more I do not understand why horse meat is not allowed in this country but we are allowed to export our horses and ponies dead or alive. This just has to stop. I was fortunate enough to rescue one of these horses who is still with me 10 years on, but i am ashamed that our governments, past and present do so little to curtail animal cruelty, human nature defies me.

  54. Ultimately, people can make a change by not supporting horseracing by placing bets and profitering from the exploitation of hundred of horses that are bred in the hope of finding a winner, the otherebeing callouslly disregarded as worthless and non profitable. I hope this protest will highlight not only the appaulling attrocities in this slaughter house but slaughter houses all over the uk that house all species of livestock, the ultimate solution being to say no to meat and dairy and go vegan xx

    • Absolutely agree Annalisa. If slaughterhouses had glass walls we would all be Vegan.

    • I fully agree with what you say and wish with all my heart i could be there good luck and all the best with this campaign let,s hope they are closed down asap and future monitoring happens in all these places.

  55. Nicola Lambert says:

    When will people realise that there is no such thing as humane slaughter? How many times do undercover films have to be exposed showing this horrendous cruelty? These are not ‘isolated incidents’ despite what the meat industry would have us believe, not that they would be any more acceptable if they were! Horror like this is inflicted on cows, sheep, lambs, calves, pigs, chickens, turkeys and horses every minute of every hour of every day.

  56. I can’t attend the demonstration but thanks to those who do as this is shameful. I agree with Claire Mellish that unfortunately this can’t be an isolated incident. Hopefully more people will be supporting Redwings and Hillside sanctuaries as a result of this.

  57. Marcia Hagon says:

    Yes this place needs shutting down and if I lived closer I would be there on Saturday for sure. However let’s not forget that this sort of thing is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to slaughterhouse cruelty and all animals suffer. It is abhorrent that this has happened to horses but those who are appalled by it should be equally appalled by the similar fate which meets pigs, sheep, cow and chickens for the dinner table. Same abuse, different species!

  58. How DARE the owner speak of an “isolated incident”, there should be no incidents of cruelty at all! at any time. The fear these poor creatures feel at abbatoirs is horrendous enough as it is, without being abused and tortured in their last few hours of breathing. I am a committed Vegan, my wish is that more people should stop eating meat, buying fur, etc, etc, etc, and then there would be no need for these people to handle animals in the thousands every day! Once again, well done Hillside for a brilliant and very brave investigation. you all deserve medals.

  59. These places have to have CCTV and it be checked regularly by an independent watchdog.

    • Haveing seen this on hillside website and on sky news it is terrible and this place should be closed down asap

      for the animals
      andy mears
      lancashire

    • Tracey Surman says:

      ALL slaughterhouses MUST have CCTV involved. Numerous horrendous reports of terrible cruelty to cows, pigs, chickens and other animals have been filmed by ANIMAL AID and despite the evidence produced to Government Depts and used in evidence in Court cases against abbatoirs, a change in legislation insisting on CCTV cameras has not occurred (little surprise there!). As usual despite animals being the greatest gift to man – when we no longer have a use for them, the cheapest and easiest option is often chosen. Its no excuse to say vet fees are too high; if you can afford to take on a horse then like any other animal you should be responsible for its upkeep for life.

  60. Whilst I agree that the horses should be treated well when taken to the slaughter house I do think that to have it shut down is going to cause even more stress to alot of horses. I believe there are only 2 slaughter houses in England who take horses. This is one of them. With the economic problems at the moment alot of people cannot afford to keep old and infirm horses and cannot afford the high vet fees to put a horse down at home and then have it carted away. The only solution is a slaughter house. To just leave a horse or pony without food and shelter is every bit as cruel as what these people have done. The slaughter houses need more regulation and as you have said CCTV cameras. At least they are being slaughtered here. The alternative could be a long and horrendous journey to the continent. I dont agree with what has happened but think first for an alternative as we are very over horsed in the UK and they cant all be looked after properly.

    • I do agree with Ann. Yes these incidents are utterly dreadful and heart breaking and should be stamped out with an iron fist. However, we do need more facilities that are well monitored and treat the animals well before dispatch. We dont want to push more horses into live exportation for meat. We can not get away from the fact that horses do need to be slaughtered – its a horrid truth that we have to face, and to do it in the way these ‘men’ did is horrific – but lets not have more sent abroad traveling for days in dreadful conditions. We need to look at the big picture and stop needless breeding too causing so many horses to end up like this – but that’s another issue.

      • Chamfrom – What do you mean we can’t get away from the fact that horses need to be slaughtered. Why do they? Please question that view. Many of the horses that are killed are ex race horses or horses that didn’t ‘make the grade’. Surely that should be dealt with instead of just accepting the brutal slaughter of these beautiful animals at a fraction of their natural life? It’s because of excessive breeding and human exploitation of animals that causes all the slaughter in the first place and it should be stopped. Animals lives are every bit as valuable to them as ours are to us and it’s time the human race recognised that and stopped considering them so disposable.

    • I agree with the above, That as much as it is awfull to think of these poor & beautiful animals being slaughtered. I do think that by closing down the slaughter house would cause more suffering to horses, by them either being left in fields neglected or being sent over seas to be slaughtered & causing stress to them in the process.
      I think we need to stamp down & have much tighter regulations & be more tightly monitered over here in all slaughter houses. This isn’t just happening to horses! MY dad worked in a slaughter house for pigs many years ago when he was younger & some of the stories he told me made me cry, he had to leave as didn’t want to be a part of it. This has been going on for years & in this day & age should not be happening. I really do hope that it becomes compulsary to have more checks & cctv in all slaughter houses.

    • Gabrielle Donnelly says:

      I couldn’t agree more.

    • Monika Courtney says:

      Check out http://www.savingamericashorses.org Horse slaughter is not the answer. See this global award winning documentary and why we must stop this predatory industry once and for all. This applies to England and any place.

    • Maureen Mancini says:

      I agree Ann – it worries me greatly that if we have no horse slaughterhouses here, these poor animals will suffer more by being exported live for slaughter abroad.

    • Hi Ann. Your comment about cost of having a horse put to rest by a vet and cleared is an x cost but people have the money while that animal is of use for the pleasure side of things ++riding++. My problem is that people should not be taking horses to Red Lion as this is for human meat and many of these Horses will at some point of had drugs.Stating in the passport NOT FOR HUMAN !!!!!!!.Stop people breading all these un=wanted youngsters so there is less.

    • maggie harris says:

      I DO NOT AGREE CCT CAMERAS WERE IN MOST SLAUGHTER HOUSES WHEN WE HAD THE B.S.E SCANDEL, BUT AS WE KNOW A FAT LOT OF GOOD THAT DID. PEOPLE POWER IS THE ONLY THING THAT WORKS IM AFRAID, THERE ARE ALWAYS LOOP HOLES IN THE LAW, THAT THESE FREAKS OF NATURE GET AROUND….GET OUT THERE ON THE DEMO, AND VOICE YOUR OPINION MADAM

  61. lynn topliffe says:

    This is just the first time they got caught shut them down I will be there in spirit I live to far away

  62. teresa sanders says:

    The horrendous treatment that was witnessed of these poor loving, beautiful, abused horses and animals is disgusting. This is total inhumane treatment and will not be tolerated.
    We will do whatever it takes to make sure the horror there will cease. No more looking the other way and pretending this isnt happening to these gorgeous magestic creatures.STOP the insanity NOW!

  63. karen joyce says:

    I care about how the horses are treated. It is bad enough as itn is. These animals spend their lives serving us so we should do all we can to see they die with love and dignity.

  64. Coral Smith and Holly Ogden says:

    You have our support from across the pond. We just left our barn and there’s a lady there with her 27,yr,old,gelding. Don’t get a horse unless,you,have,a,plan,on,what to do if it gets sick or old period!

  65. When is the campaign I want to be there

  66. Ban horse meat full stop,we dont need horse meat its a disgrace

    • Why only horse meat …….? I wonder how many people who, are quite rightly upset by what they’ve seen, consume other animal flesh. ??
      Cows, sheep, pigs etc are equally wonderful animals

      • Absolutely Dave, Once, I was so tired of hearing people say how they were animal lovers that I once asked a woman who’d said it if she was a vegan and when she said no I said Well you don’t love the ones on your plate do you? A bit harsh but I hope it made her think. People are beginning to make the conection more nowadays but I wish it was happening faster for the animals sakes.

  67. Claire Mellish says:

    As a scientist I find it very hard to believe this was an isolated incident because it was the first and only time anyone filmed in their who wasn’t part of the industry. The video was really harrowing. Please shut this place down and install CCTV cameras in all abattoirs. Just like all care homes. Where humans are involved with a profit motive and nobody watching there are always gross violations.

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