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Abattoir accused of cruelty vows to stay open and fight the charges

Sun 16 Oct 2016 by Duncan Abey (Mercury)

This article relates to the following facility: Gretna Quality Meats (Aussie Abattoirs)

THE owner of a Derwent Valley abattoir depicted in leaked video has rejected RSPCA calls for the facility to close, and confirmed a planned slaughter will go ahead tomorrow.

After graphic video footage emerged showing the treatment of cows, pigs and sheep at the Gretna Quality Meats slaughterhouse, proprietor Michael Munnings strongly defended his practices.

He said he was happy to co-operate with any investigation by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Envir­onment.

Mr Munnings said he was confident of being cleared of any wrongdoing. He has also lodged a formal complaint with Tasmania Police over the footage he said was illegally obtained.

“I’ve been in the industry 30 years, and everything on the video was done according to the code,” he said.

“I can’t see anything that wasn’t right.

“In a perfect world every animal would go down with the first shot, but unfortunately that doesn’t always happen.”

 


RSPCA Tasmanian chief Peter West says the footage raises important questions about the treatment of animals domestically.

 

The footage, obtained by Animal Liberation from an anonymous source and aired on ABC TV, showed animals being beaten and kicked.

RSPCA national chief scientist Bidda Jones called for work at the abattoir to be suspended until the outcome of the investigation.

The org­anisation’s Tasmanian chief Peter West said given the ongoing issues regarding live exports, the footage raised important questions about the treatment of animals domestically.

“The challenging thing here is sorting out what is normal practice in an abattoir, which is pretty confronting anyway, and what is not,” Mr West said.

“For people at home whose only relationship with beef, lamb and pork is from a cellophane pack, they don’t realise what happens in these places.

“At the end of the day, RSPCA Tasmania’s vision is for a state where all animals are treated with respect and kindness.

“I think measures should be put in place to ensure the animals are treated with respect and dispatched in a humane way.”

But Mr Munnings said whoever was responsible for securing the vision needed to be prosecuted.

“And, if I’ve done the wrong thing, I’ll cop it too,” he said.

“The Gretna community and our customers have been fully supportive of us, and appalled that it has happened.”