Halal butchers who chanted and danced as they tortured animals walk free from court
TWO HALAL slaughtermen who subjected sheep to “extreme suffering” and danced and sang as they hacked at the animals’ throats, have walked free from court.
Cruel and unusual? Halal slaughtermen Kabeer Hussain and Kazam Hussein admit causing suffering
The two men, who were described to the court as “professionally qualified” to carry out the Islamic method of slaughter were secretly filmed taunting, chanting and dancing around the sheep before putting them through unimaginable pain while still conscious.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard the animals were strung up alive as they bled out at the abattoir, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire.
Kabeer Hussain, 44, and Kazam Hussein, 55, were filmed taunting animals, waving knives in front of them and shouting at them.
Magitrates heard some of the sheep could be seen slipping and staggering as blood poured from their necks.
The court was told charity workers at Animal Aid secretly took footage of the accused “hacking and sawing” at animals’ throats, at Bowood Farms abattoir.
Hussain and Hussein received suspended prison sentences yesterday at Leeds Magistrates’ Court after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to animals. Abattoir boss William Woodward was jailed for 20 weeks.
Prosecutor Howard Shaw said Woodward had simply turned a blind eye to the animals’ welfare at his slaughterhouse.
Under strict regulations on halal slaughter animals must be killed with a single, clean cut to the throat and then allowed to lose consciousness for at least 30 seconds before being moved on to the next stage of slaughter in a bid to minimise suffering.
But the secret footage showed the two slaughtermen, both from Bradford, waiting between one and 11 seconds before the animals were sent on to be strung up by their back legs on the processing line, still conscious.
Howard Shaw, prosecuting for the CPS on behalf of Defra, said: “A large number of sheep were caused to suffer unnecessarily."
Hussain, of Bradford, admitted causing suffering and was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail, suspended for a year.
Hussein, also of Bradford, admitted causing unnecessary suffering and was sentenced to 18 weeks suspended for a year.
The secret footage – which emerged two years ago – sparked a public outcry and this week legislation was put before the Commons that will force all abattoirs to install CCTV.
All abattoirs must be approved by the Food Standards Agency, but the regulatory body does not check whether halal meat is prepared according to religious rules.
Many self-certify themselves as adhering to halal standards, which state that animals must be killed with a single sweep of a surgically-sharp knife while a Muslim recites a prayer.
The secret footage also showed conveyor belt operator, Artur Lewandowski, 33, of Darlington picking a sheep up by its fleece at the neck and at one point pulling his fist back as if to punch the animal.
Mr Shaw told the court: “There’s one incident where the sheep is struggling. He draws back his fist in a punching motion but doesn’t actually punch the sheep.
“He almost throws the animal on to the conveyor belt by its fleece.”