Police Discover ‘Disturbing Scene’ at Address Used as Suspected Illegal Abattoir in Telford, England

A man slaughters a sheep at an Islamic slaughterhouse in Oudeschoot, during the Eid al-Adha feast, on November 5, 2011. Eid al-Adha is a three-day Muslim feast of sacrifice to commemorate the prophet Abraham's offering of his son to God. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBERT VOS ***Netherlands out - …
ROBERT VOS/AFP/Getty

Police officers in Telford, England, have arrested seven men after uncovering what they believe to be an illegal slaughterhouse at a blood-spattered residential address.

Officers reported discovering “a disturbing scene” at an address on Charles Road, Arleston, “with a large amount of blood on the driveway.”

An official West Mercia Police appeal describes how officers found “three sheep in a very poor state of health and one already sadly dead” at the alleged abattoir, along with seven males aged between 18 and 36 who have been arrested on suspicion of theft.

“Illegal butchery and sheep theft are serious offences,” commented Inspector Craig Smith on behalf of the police force.

“Not only are there risks in consuming meat when it isn’t from a reputable source but illegal butchery can also cause unnecessary suffering to the animal. Rural crime such as this also has a serious emotional and financial impact on our farming communities, of course, [and] there are financial repercussions to farmers whose animals are stolen.”

West Merica Police are urging people to “to report suspicious sales of meat” in the wake of their discovery, citing reference 0765s 16 April 2020.

“I would ask our communities across the whole West Mercia police area to contact us if you think someone is selling illegal meat,” Smith added.

“I would also like to ask those in our more rural areas to report suspicious activity around farmland, particularly whilst there is less traffic on the road due to the current lockdown. By reporting anything suspicious in or near fields of livestock you can make a significant difference to helping us stop this type of crime.”

The incident follows the trial of three migrants accused of the “slow and painful killing” of hundreds of sheep on farms across the East Midlands countryside in 2019, for the purposes of selling their meat.

Deficiencies in the laws around animal cruelty — or possibly a lack of will on the part of police and/or prosecutors — meant they were only charged with conspiracy to steal.

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