A Halifax meat processor has been fined almost £10,000 after leaving hundreds of sheep without drinking water for days.

 

Premier Halal Meats of Brookwoods Industrial Estate, Holywell Green, was handed a £9401 fine after pleading guilty to three counts of failing to look after animals.

About 860 sheep were left without water or enough space to move and lie down for days, Calderdale magistrates were told.

Prosecutors said the sheep were trampling each other in a pen while drinking water troughs had been switched off.

A meat hygienist visiting the slaughterhouse in February said he found 11 sheep dead due to being trampled and suffocating.

Debbie Wilson, representing Halal Meats, said the situation had occurred following a mix-up between a delivery driver and the abattoir supervisor over what time sheep would be delivered.

The company had made significant changes to the way they operated following the incident, she said.

“There is no excuse and we have to take responsibility,” Mrs Wilson added.

The case against slaughterhouse supervisor Mohammed Hussain, who failed to attend court, was re-listed to be heard on 27 October.

Premier Halal Meats began trading in June 2009 and was sent a letter by DEFRA in October 2009 raising concerns about the number of sheep being kept in pens.