Practical - Index > To Do - Index > Activism > Examples of Activism

Hillside's Investigation Exposes UK's Biggest Illegal Slaughterhouse!
March 7, 2005

The heroic Hillside undercover team bravely risked their lives and a few limbs to covertly gather video evidence to expose barbaric animal cruelty, dangers to public health and illegal unlicensed practices in the biggest case of it's kind in the UK.

Hillside Animal Sanctuary are extremely grateful for the support by The Sunday Mirror and The North Yorkshire Trading Standards Team to send a clear message to these cruel thugs that these sort of practices will not be tolerated and they will be pursued until justice is done no matter how long it takes.

Ultimately it is Hillside's supporters that help us keep going in difficult times and not only find homes for poor animals without a voice of their own but also to seek out and deal with the root of the problem - greedy individuals who take advantage of the na´ve demand for cheap meat and blatantly flout UK laws. If you are one of those who has donated then we like to say thank you from all of us at Hillside and from the countless animals you have saved.

The Head of the Trading Standards, North Yorkshire County Council, Graham Venn also sends his thanks.

"I cannot understate the value of the evidence provided by Hillside Animal Sanctuary in bringing this prosecution to a successful conclusion. The coverage of your undercover officers in videoing the unlicensed slaughter activity must be commended. Hillside's work has in no doubt been instrumental in stopping this illegal operation preventing suffering to livestock and protecting human health."

Hillside's valiant team provided evidence that Trading Standards revealed they would have had to jump through legal hoops to get authorisation to obtain for themselves. Even then it may not have been admissible. Because the initial video evidence was provided by independent Hillside it made the case far quicker and easier to secure a prosecution.

Sentencing is expected at Harrogate Magistrate's Court on 23rd March.

Hillside's covert operation managed to gather footage of various incriminating admissions by the accused and revealed disgusting barbaric scenes of a sheep with it's throat slashed halfway through its neck and wildly thrashing it's head, hanging half off, as it lay horizontally on a killing rack, blood pouring out onto the floor of the barn.

If you view the video you'll see there appears to be no consideration of health and hygiene, no special clothing, no sterilised equipment, people smoking all around, farmers using a cheap B&Q type saw to hack through a sheep's chest and numerous lame animals that look diseased and unfit for human consumption.

There is a danger, with public demand for cheap meat so high, that there will be increasing pressures by supermarkets on the farmers to drive down profits. This will result in more farmers having to take second jobs, spending less time looking after their animals, take an increasing number of short cuts and increasing the prevalence of appalling animal welfare standards and dangers to public health.

Please help us to continue to raise money to fund this essential work and if you have time write to The Food Standards Agency and Trading Standards Officers to encourage them to stamp out these unacceptable practices. If you want to volunteer for investigative work please write to Hillside with a CV to the address below.

See more at