Animal Equality’s undercover footage has revealed animals suffering from prolonged pain in a Scottish Salmon Company slaughterhouse. The investigation, showing fish killing processes, is the first of its kind to be released in the UK.
The Scottish Salmon Company supplies major UK supermarkets Waitrose and Co-op, alongside premium retailers, hotels and restaurants. The corporation also has a global reach, exporting its products to over 20 countries across the world.
Warning: the following images are graphic.
Despite a stunning device being in place in this facility, numerous salmon displayed consciousness at the time of slaughter, evidenced by flapping, wriggling and gasping motions.
Many salmon’s gills were cut when they were still conscious, causing them to be in agony for up to several minutes as a result.
Some salmon were stunned with a club after their gills were cut, causing their blood to spray out. In some instances, conscious animals were clubbed as many as seven times.
With so many animals entering the slaughterhouse, many fish fell, or were thrown, to the floor when the chute was full. Left to suffocate, their painful death was even more drawn out.
This footage is alarming. A significant number of salmon are clearly conscious when their gills are cut, which could result in extreme pain for as long as seven minutes.Mark Borthwick,MA MSc, Head of Research, Aquatic Life Institute
Scientists recognise that fish, just like other farmed animals, experience pleasure and pain. Despite this, fish are given very few legal protections.
In the UK, up to 77 million fish are raised and killed every single year – that's over two per second.
Animal Equality is urging UK governments to put in place meaningful, specific protections for aquatic animals at the time of slaughter. This is the very least these animals deserve and yet currently they are not afforded even this.
We're not alone. Our open letter, addressed to ministers across the UK, has been signed by 70 world-leading animal welfare experts, academics and animal protection organisations.