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Ireland exports lambs to “illegal” slaughter

We have tracked a consignment of more than 1,500 Irish lambs shipped 7,000 miles to Singapore to be slaughtered without stunning in makeshift killing tents.

The slaughter witnessed would have been illegal under EU law. Lambs were pinned down by up to six men at slaughter. The methods of restraint used on these lambs would be illegal if performed in the EU, as ruminants have to be mechanically restrained.

The animals’ journey was timed to coincide with the Korban slaughter festival.

A member of Compassion’s Investigations Unit says: “It was a really challenging environment to slaughter sheep humanely in. They were carried to makeshift slaughter tables through narrow, congested corridors, making for a noisy, stressful environment.

“When they got there they were pinned to a table by four men, where they had their throats cut. Restraining the lambs like this would be illegal in the EU.”

They add: “It was a very upsetting experience to view, especially with no pre-stunning as the lambs would be experiencing extreme pain and fear when having their throat cut.”

Pru Elliott, Campaigns Officer for Compassion in World Farming, says: “You have to seriously question whether taking animals from lush Irish fields and subjecting them to a 7,000-mile journey just so they can be slaughtered can ever be in the interests of the welfare of the animal or even for the Irish sheep industry.”

Ireland also exports to countries in North Africa and the Middle East. We have evidence of brutal slaughter methods being used in these countries, including animals being beaten, dragged by the tail, limbs or even eye sockets, stabbed, shot at before being inexpertly slaughtered – having their throats repeatedly slashed at several times.

We’re urging Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to stop the export of Irish animals to countries outside of the EU where they face conditions that would not only be illegal in the EU, but often breach even basic internationally recognised recommendations set down by the OIE on slaughter.

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Read all about it

Read the Irish Sunday Times article (£) on our findings and the Irish government’s response.