A slaughterhouse worker from a family butchers has been jailed after being filmed beating pigs and sheep before killing them.

Anthony Bagshaw, 36, was caught on CCTV kicking a pig in the face and throwing a sheep against a gate.

Norwich-based animal charity Hillside Animal Sanctuary placed secret cameras inside an abattoir in Leek, Staffordshire, following reports of animal cruelty.

See also: Halal abattoir staff suspended over animal cruelty claims

Mr Bagshaw, of Back Lane, Butterton, Staffordshire, was filmed abusing pigs and sheep before they were about to be killed.

He pleaded guilty to 24 offences relating to animal cruelty, food safety and movement of animals at Stafford Crown Court.

One of the animal welfare charges related to Mr Bagshaw knocking a sheep unconscious after striking the animal on the head with a stun gun and a metal shackle.

The offences were committed between August 2014 and March 2015 at S Bagshaw and Sons slaughterhouse.

WARNING: Following video includes graphic footage

Jailing him for 10 months, judge Jonathan Gosling told Bagshaw his actions were deplorable.

The judge described some of the welfare offences as “wanton cruelty”.

Judge Gosling told Mr Bagshaw: “Your ill treatment of a number of animals was a shock even to an observer with no interest in the welfare of stock for slaughter.” 

He also banned Mr Bagshaw from keeping, owning or transporting farm animals for 15 years.

Defra, Staffordshire County Council and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) investigated the case, which led to the prosecution.

In a statement, Defra and the FSA said: “We will not tolerate food crime that endangers both consumers and animals alike.

‘We hope the sentencing is a major deterrent to those who think they can profit from cutting corners and jeopardising food safety.”

‘Shocking’ abuse

Staffordshire County Council’s principal trading standards officer Steph Young said: “Bagshaw put people’s health and safety at risk by introducing meat into the food chain without proper checks, and with a lack of traceability.

“He was well aware of the regulations and this has been reflected by the sentence.

“His treatment of animals was shocking and it is absolutely right that he has been banned from keeping animals for so long.”