Down Cow Slaughterhouse Closes

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) investigated this slaughterhouse after SAFE and Farmwatch exposed the dairy industry in an exposé last year which showed:

  • Calves destined for slaughter left in crates at the side of the road for up to eight hours, despite the law requiring them to be fed two hours before transportation.
  • Truck drivers roughly throwing calves into the back of trucks.
  • Calves thrown onto dead-piles at farm gates.
  • A slaughterman violently kicking and throwing helpless calves before bashing them and slitting their throats.

MPI did not explicitly close Down Cow slaughterhouse; they gave direction to the owners to improve conditions. The owners are due to appear in court next month, while their worker caught on camera has already pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences. In the midst of this legal action, the owners have chosen to close down the facility.

SAFE’s Executive Director Hans Kriek is pleased MPI has followed through with its investigation, “While we are pleased to see this slaughterhouse closed, concerns remain about the treatment of bobby calves in general. MPI does not adequately monitor slaughterhouses, transport firms and farms. They tend to mainly respond to animal welfare complaints but unannounced animal welfare audits would be so much more effective in preventing cruelty.”  

MPI has a conflict of interest when considering animal welfare, since they are also charged with promoting agricultural interests. SAFE is calling on the Government to create an independent animal welfare body and allocate sufficient funding to animal welfare to enforce the law.


22 June 2016

down cow shuts down