Abattoirs (also known as slaughterhouses) in the UK have tended to be somewhat secretive about their activities, mainly due to fear of animal rights campaigners. Also, the general public are generally squeamish about meat production.
The number of animals killed for food in UK abattoirs per year is approximately: * 800,000,000 broiler chickens * 35,000,000 turkeys * 19,000,000 sheep * 18,000,000 ducks * 17,000,000 pigs * 2,500,000 cattle * 1,000,000 geese * 10,000 deer * 10,000 goats
In the late 1990s, many small and medium-sized abattoirs closed down, due to increased regulations and high inspection charges. This meant many animals had a longer journey to be slaughtered. The effect of this was to increase the risks of diseases such as foot and mouth from spreading around the country , and also to make the sight of lorries transporing animals to slaughter a common occurrence on British roads.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), there were 13,000 slaughterhouses in Great Britain in 1938. These had fallen to 1,000 by 1986 and to 416 by 1999.
95% of all pigs killed in the UK are killed at specialist slaughterhouses.
In the mid-1990s, the live export of animals for slaughter was a contentious political topic. Because many European countries demanded freshly-killed meat, animals were routinely shipped by ferry to the continent on long journeys. An incident at the port of Shoreham near Brighton, captured the public imagination, and large-scale protests against live exports ensued. It was during one of these protests at Coventry Airport that campaigner Jill Phipps was run over by a lorry and killed.
The BBC aired a documentary in 2005 called Slaughterhouse: The Task of Blood that showed graphic footage from the Harvey Ashworth abattoir in Royton, Oldham. It also featured interview with the workers, giving an insight into their job. In 1994, Keith Mann was sentenced to 14 years in prison for, amongst other things, causing damage to three lorries at this abattoir. In the early 1990s there was a long string of attacks on meat lorries at slaughterhouses and meat processing plants.
Abattoirs listed by county Avon * Alec Jarrett Ltd. High St, Oldland Common, Bristol. Kills cattle, sheep. High profile case 2 years ago for paying below minimum wage to EU workers * Dalehead Foods, Oakleigh Green, Westerleigh, Bristol. Kills pigs. * University of Bristol, Division of Food Animal Science, Churchill Building, Langford. Kills cattle, sheep, pigs, goats. * W J Pearce & Sons, High St, Chew Magna, Bristol. Kills cattle, sheep.
Kent * Anglo Dutch Meats (Charing), The Abattoir, Ashford Rd, Charing, Ashford. Kill cattle, sheep and pigs. * Cooper & Son, Aldington, Ashford. Kills cattle, goats, sheep, pigs. * Forge Farm Meats, Tunbridge Wells. Kills wild boar, cattle, goats, sheep, pigs. Investigated by on 26.05.2000 by Val Latham and her mother Pam who are animal welfare activists. Independence of investigation is questionable. * Invicta Lamb, Lamberhurst. Closed 2001. * J.R Farm Meats. Ratling Court Farm, Ratling, Aylesham, Canterbury. * Ken Ballard, West End, Tonbridge. Kills cattle, sheep, pigs. * S W Doughty, Doddington, Sittingbourne. Kills cattle, goats, sheep, pigs. Attached to the butchers shop. * T Allman, Edenbridge. Kills cattle, sheep, goats, deer.
Lancashire * Blacklidge Bros. Stephens Way, Warrington Industrial Estate, Goose Green, Wigan * Harvey Ashworth, Edge Lane St, Oldham. The subject of a BBC2 television documentary in 2005. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/review/4641449.stm#slaughterhouse] * Heywoods Butchers. The Abbatoir, Clerk Hill Rd, Whalley, Clitheroe * Kosher Poultry Ltd. 35, Collingham St, Manchester * North West Meats Ltd. The Abbatoir, Dunkerley St, Oldham * Oblong. 126, Charles Barry Crescent, Manchester * Peter Boddy. East Hey Head Farm, Hey Head Lane, Todmorden * Riley Bros. Burnley Rd, Dunnockshaw, Burnley * Robinson Mitchell Ltd. Over Raygill, Dumb Toms Lane, Ingleton, Carnforth * Rose County Foods, Castill Laithe Abattoir, Sawley, Clitheroe. Kills sheep and cattle. In 1999, a meat inspector was kidnapped by slaughtermen here and thrown into a vat of waste animal parts . Burnt down in 1996 due to an electrical fault . * W Taylor & Son (P.S) Ltd. 336-340, Station Rd, Bamber Bridge, Preston * Wholesale Meat Supply (Accrington) Ltd. Wood St, Great Harwood, Blackburn * Woodhead Bros Meat Co. The Abattoir, Whitewalls Industrial Estate, Colne * Kepak Group Ltd. Bamber Bridge, Preston
Lincolnshire * L Brown & Son. Lincoln City Abattoir, Crofton Rd, Lincoln * Lincolnshire Meat Co.Ltd. The Abattoir, Dysart Rd, Grantham
London * Kedassia Poultry, Smeed Row. * Muslim Halal Live Chicken & Poultry, Hessel Street.
Norfolk * Bowes of Norfolk Ltd. Brandon Rd, Watton, Thetford * H.G Blake (Costessey) Ltd. Bull Farm, Reepham Rd, Felthorpe, Norwich * J & D Papworth Farms. Oak St, Fakenham * R.S Baker & Sons Ltd. The Abattoir, Elsing, Dereham. £4million damage was done to the premises in 2001 by an arson attack by the Animal Liberation Front [http://www.newshound.org.uk/November%202001.htm].
North Humberside * Graystone Ltd. Killum Hall, Hilston Rd, Roos, Hull * Richard of Howden Ltd. The Abattoir, Bridge St, Goole
Northamptonshire * F E Coales & Son, Main St, Twywell. Kills cattle, goats, sheep, pigs.
North Yorkshire * Egton Abattoir, Egton, Whitby. * A Graves & Son, Escrick, York. * Machin Yorkshire Lamb Ltd. The Abattoir, Busby Stoop Rd, Thirsk. ( The above abattoir is thought to be involved with the live export trade. In August 2005 there was an arson attack on the premises which caused over £1million damage. See Article: [http://www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID55&ArticleID1033499] It was believed to be the work of animal rights activists, but no claims were made. The abattoir has since been thoroughly refurbished and reopened for business on the 8th May 2006 ) * McIntyre Meats. East Borwins, Bainbridge, Leyburn
Oxfordshire * Mutchmeats, Newclose Lane, Witney. Ten lorries were burnt out at this site in 2000 in an attack by the Animal Liberation Front, causing an estimated £80,000 damage . A former slaughterman here, Peter Weedon, murdered a 91-year-old man 2002 .
Shropshire * A B P Shrewsbury Ltd. Abattoir, Battlefield Rd, Shrewsbury * Anglo Beef Processors (Ellesmere) Ltd. Hordley, Ellesmere * Bishops Castle Meat Ltd. Love Lane Industrial Estate, Bishops Castle * Meat Projects Consultancy Services Ltd. Kimberley Farm, Gravels, Minsterley, Shrewsbury * Malpas Country Meats Ltd. Maplas
Somerset * Arthur R Duckett Casualty Slaughter Contractor. Alstone Hall Farm, Alstone Rd, Highbridge * Bridgwater Beef Co. The Cattle Market, Bath Rd, Bridgwater * C Snell Wholesale. Breeches Farm, South Chard, Chard * Frome Abattoir. Merchants Barton, Frome * Lawrence J Potter. The New Abattoirs, Staple Grove, Taunton. Horse culls, http://www.stillmanshorseslaughter.tk * Southern Counties Fresh Foods Ltd. The Tannery, Huish Episcopi, Langport * Southern Cull Services Ltd. Tanyard Abbatoir, Tanyard Lane, Huish Episcopi, Langport * Southwest By-Products. 20, St. John St, Bridgwater * Stillmans (Somerset) Ltd. The Abattoirs, Staplegrove Mills, Staplegrove, Taunton. Lawrence J Potter, Horse culls, http://www.stillmanshorseslaughter.tk * West Country Casualties. 24, Nicholas Close, Brushford, Dulverton
South Yorkshire * E.V Slack & Sons, Carr Lane, Wadworth, Doncaster * N Bramall & Sons Ltd. Near Coates Farm, Coates Lane, Oxspring, Sheffield * Woolley Bros (Wholesale Meats) Ltd. Rother Valley Way, Holbrook, Sheffield