A BIRMINGHAM abattoir has been fined after causing ‘avoidable pain, distress or suffering’ to its animals leading up to slaughter.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that the treatment of lambs, sheep and cattle at Leansale Limited on Stratford Road in Birmingham broke the law by causing avoidable pain, distress or suffering.

The company operates under the name of Roopyal Laham Halaal Butchers.

The dates of the offences were on November 18, 2021, January 13, 2022, and January 23, 2022. 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) investigated the company, on behalf of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) following a referral on January 31, 2022.

The file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision on August 31, 2022.

A vet working for the FSA at the premises was told that a lamb had escaped but the reports and explanations given to him were contradictory.

He asked to see CCTV from the plant. 

By law, slaughterhouses must keep CCTV footage of their processes which can then be accessed by officers from the FSA.

When the footage was examined, several offences were identified around the handling of cattle and sheep during and following their unloading at the premises and were referred to investigation officers from the FSA. 

The offences included overcrowding, failure to provide drinking water to animals held for an extended period, some of the areas where the animals were kept were unsafe, failure to respond appropriately to the unloading of a lame animal and grabbing and dragging a sheep across the back yard by its fleece and horns.

The FSA gathered the evidence and passed it to the Crown Prosecution Service who authorised a number of charges against the company under the Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (England) Regulations 2015.

Guilty pleas to a range of offences were entered at a hearing at Birmingham Magistrates Court on February 17, 2023.  

At the same court on May 22, 2023, the company was fined £10 000 and must pay costs of £500 and a surcharge of £190.

The case was prosecuted by a unit in CPS Mersey Cheshire which deals with offences against animals across a wide geographical area.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Maqsood Khan, of CPS Mersey Cheshire, said: “The treatment of animals in the lead up to their slaughter by Leansale Limited did not meet the standards set out in the law.

“The legislation around the slaughter of animals is strict and precise and the processes at slaughterhouses are monitored closely by the Food Standards Agency.

“They gathered conclusive evidence of mistreatment of animals and the CPS authorised charges, brought the case to court and the company pleaded guilty.

“The CPS would like to thank the FSA for their help in bringing this case and we hope it highlights the importance of the humane treatment of animals in our food production.”