Red Lion Abattoir at Sound Heath, Nantwich

The controversial Red Lion abattoir near Nantwich has been ordered to stop operating, the Food Standards Agency revealed today.

The slaughterhouse in Sound Heath, Wrenbury, has failed to meet requirements for safe production of meat.

Owners High Peak Meat Exports Ltd had applied to change the facility’s name and rules meant they had to re-apply for a licence to operate within a certain time period.

But a spokeswoman for the Food Standards Agency told Nantwichnews the application had been refused and the abattoir must cease to operate.

The spokeswoman said: “The Food Standards Agency has informed High Peak Meat Exports Ltd of its decision to refuse the business approval to operate as a slaughterhouse.

“This is because the establishment did not meet all the infrastructure requirements which permit the safe production of meat, and could therefore be a risk to public health.

“FSA vets had carried out a number of appraisal visits to the plant to help the business prepare for re-approval. Advice was given on how to rectify a number of issues.

“However, when the approval visit was undertaken in February this year, the evidence indicated that not all the improvements that were needed had been done.

“The business must stop operating at 12 noon on Monday 8 April 2013. There is a right to appeal within one month.”

A spokesman for High Peak Meat Exports has said they will not appeal the FSA decision.

“The company will substantially invest in the premises for what is a necessary industry and thanks the Food Standards Agency for the assistance given,” it told the BBC.

The abattoir has been at the centre of two major controversies in recent weeks.

Two slaughtermen lost their licences after an undercover film by Hillside animal sanctuary showed alleged cruelty to horses before and during the slaughter process.

This led to strong demonstrations by animal campaigners in Nantwich town centre and outside the facility itself.

The abattoir was also linked to the recent Irish horsemeat scandal. The FSA confirmed the current closure is not linked to the horsemeat issue.


  1. Isobel says:

    Brilliant news! I just hope it never opens again.

  2. jeannette marriott says:

    This is great news!! the people that were shown in the video footage should now be brought to justice.The public need to be aware that this happens all over the world.Every country has the duty to make sure that this kind of abuse it stopped where ever it happens.

  3. A Dank says:

    Well done to all that campaigned to highlight the horrific cruelty that went on within this establishment.

  4. Jackie jobling says:

    I’m sooooo thrilled – about time! Congratulations to all concerned who helped to achieve this outcome!

  5. rickster says:

    About time the fsa got of there arse and done something, as for the turner family bow your heads in shame, hillside filmed you abusing horses and cattle for 2 months! So how can that be ( not of the norm your comment about the cruelty shown ) horses are quite intelligent that says a lot for you lot.

  6. antonia emery says:

    Good the place was full of cruelty and should not be allowed to open ever again. responsible horse owners should have their horses put down at home! now lets hope they are prosecuted for cruelty as well.

  7. Darren says:

    It takes a lot for the food Standards Agency to close a place down. Perhaps there is worse information to come.

  8. Marion Eaton says:

    Hurrah!!!!!!!!!!! It’s about time.

  9. Steve P says:

    This is excellent news.

    Hopefully there will follow a prosecution against those who owned this hellish place.

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