Leek abattoir worker jailed for 'barbaric' animal cruelty
A slaughterhouse worker who kicked and beat sheep and pigs before killing them has been jailed for 10 months.
Anthony Bagshaw, of S Bagshaw and Sons butchers, pleaded guilty to 24 offences relating to animal cruelty, food safety and movement of animals.
CCTV footage taken inside the abattoir showed him kicking a pig in the face and throwing a sheep against a gate.
Bagshaw, of Back Lane Butterton, was banned from keeping farm animals for 15 years, Stafford Crown Court heard.
Secret cameras were placed inside the abattoir in Leek, Staffordshire, by Hillside Animal Sanctuary, which had received reports of animal cruelty.
Among the nine animal welfare charges, Bagshaw admitted knocking a sheep unconscious by hitting it on the head with a stun gun and a metal shackle.
The 36-year-old committed the offences between August 2014 and March 2015, the court heard.
At sentencing Judge Jonathan Gosling said Bagshaw's treatment of animals was deplorable.
John Watson, from the animal sanctuary, said: "Had we not been able to obtain the harrowing evidence of barbaric cruelty happening behind the closed doors of this 'high class' family slaughterhouse, it would still be going on right now."
The investigation was jointly carried out by Staffordshire County Council, the Food Standards Agency and Defra.
The council's trading standards leader Gill Heath said: "His treatment of animals was shocking and it is absolutely right that he has been banned from keeping animals for so long."