Fury as slaughterhouse exposed for violent abuse passes Government inspection | Totally Vegan Buzz

Fury as slaughterhouse exposed for violent abuse passes Government inspection

chicken farm Essex
Image: Open Cages / YouTube

Animal rights activists are furious with the Government’s response to footage which exposes horrific abuse at a farm in Essex.

Welfare group Open Cages claimed undercover footage revealed harrowing conditions for animals at Moorah Farm in Great Totham.

Activists described their discovery as ‘nauseating’ after finding workers had broken live chickens’ necks and hurled them across the farm a other flocks of animals packed tightly together in crowded conditions. 

Despite the shocking footage being shared far and wide on social media and handed over to Government body the Animal and Plant Health Agency, Open Cages were told the farm fulfills legal requirements.

WARNING: The below footage contains graphic imagery which viewers may find distressing

Inspectors visited the site and concluded the organisation adhered to animal welfare standards. 

A spokesperson for Essex Trading Standards said in a statement: “Trading Standards takes any allegation of the mistreatment of livestock or poultry very seriously.

“As soon as we were made aware of these allegations on December 16, an unannounced visit was made to the premises with an official veterinarian from the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

“During the visit the welfare, condition, treatment and mortality rates of the poultry were assessed and found to be in full compliance with UK and EU legal requirements as well as with poultry industry best practice guidance.”

chicken farm Essex
Image: Open Cages / YouTube
chicken farm Essex
Image: Open Cages / YouTube
chicken farm Essex
Image: Open Cages / YouTube
chicken farm Essex
Image: Open Cages / YouTube


Activists were disgusted by the response but said the reaction by authorities is typical in the industry. 

Open Cages chief executive officer Connor Jackson told the Clacton and Frinton Gazette: “We find their response no surprise. The conditions we documented are literally allowed by law.

“But just because something’s legal, that doesn’t mean it’s OK. Our hidden cameras captured abuse and mistreatment. That evidence is online for all to see.”

‘Top priority’

The farm in question – Moorah Farm – is owned by Hook 2 Sisters. Reacting to the initial footage and accusations, a spokesperson previously said in a statement: “Animal welfare is a top priority at our farms and something we take extremely seriously.

“We are investigating the footage showing the handling of birds at Moorah Farm and have a firm zero tolerance policy if it transpires a welfare procedure has not been followed correctly.

“All our farms operate to UK and EU legislation and are regularly independently audited and accredited.

“Our own welfare measures exceed minimum standards and our policies require the birds to have access to natural light and environmental enrichment.”


The reaction from officials is more evidence that farming regulations and standards for animal welfare are nowhere near strict enough in the UK or the EU.

Consumers who choose to buy meat must accept that animals can suffer extreme brutality and painful deaths at farms which fulfil the Government’s rules. 

Even slaughterhouses which are recognised by Red Tractor as so-called ethical farms and pose as local, organic businesses are time and time again caught out for horrific incidents and heartless practices. 

This month a group of activists in Northern Ireland revealed harrowing conditions at a Red Tractor recognised farm.

Meat the Victim activists posted a series of images showing pigs with open wounds and infections, and shared an image of a room filled with ‘dead babies everywhere’. 

The group managed to secure the release of one pig, but many others continue to live and die in squalid conditions while the business poses as an ethical supplier.

Share this article to reveal the reality behind the meat industry. What do you think of animal welfare laws? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Published by Oli Gross

Oli’s career and personal ethical values both help shape his reporting of the diverse world of veganism. His background is in local newspaper and magazine journalism, and his work has included reporting court cases, celebrity interviews, business analysis, food and drink features and government legislation.



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