Sirault : 46 goats and sheep rescued from an illegal slaughterhouse

19th april 2017

 

Thursday 13 April 2017, the UBEAW (The Animal Welfare Unit of Wallonia) and the AFSCA (Federal Agency for Food Safety) ordered the seizure of 46 goats and sheep from an illegal slaughterhouse in Sirault (municipality of Saint-Ghislain). The animal rescue centres Animaux en Péril, the Rêve d’Aby and the Animal sans Toi…t received an urgent appeal to assist in the rescue of 18 goats and 28 sheep, which were in a very bad shape due to neglect. On site the representatives of both the authorities and the aforementioned rescue centres were shocked when they discovered the deplorable health conditions. In addition, the animals were held and killed under appalling circumstances. We of Animaux en Péril have not seen such a tragic case since the Pascal Delcourt seizure at Ogy.

 

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Dreadful confinement conditions

 

The seizure of the animals took place at the property of a person in his 60s. A search warrant granted the regional police and the UBEAW permission to enter the premises and what they discovered can only be described as a nightmare: the ramshackle buildings and the conditions in them testify to the animals’ tribulations. One group of animals was found in a (relative to the number of animals) confined space just behind the owner’s living quarters, where they were standing in their own excrements and urine.

 

Another group of animals was held behind fences that could not even bare the name of a proper enclosure: walls made of pallet board and wire fencing only held together by ropes. The repulsive smell and dirtiness of this squalid shelter was very shocking indeed.

 

Day-to-day hellish conditions

 

The abused animals huddled together in a cramped space of which the floor, smeared with offal and blood, was simply used to slaughter the animals. In the air sheep heads dangling on hooks in front of the eyes of the sheep and goats, which had to live in a penetrating nauseating stench all the time. The most shocking discovery was the sight of a living, mortally afraid male-goat firmly tied up, prepared to have his throat slit, petrifyingly awaiting his destiny.

 

 

 

 

Illegally slaughtered animals for human consumption

 

On the property the owner exploited unlicensed abattoir, and to no surprise, he also disposed of a range of materials to slaughter animals. In addition, in the middle of an enclosed area, there was a stock of carcasses in freezers, which clearly was intended to be trafficked further down the illegal meat chain to a commerce. These practices are all severe infringements of sanitary and tax legislation.

 

Owner unknown to police

 

To the knowledge of the state justice department, the landlord has no prior record of animal abuse. Nonetheless, neighbours described him as the district’s mean haggler and complained about the stench coming from his property as he was burning the remaining body parts and offal of the animals he had so brutally killed. An investigation will be carried out by the AFSCA to determine the buyer of the illegal meat.

The day of the intervention, the owner was not on the premises, which facilitated the work of the authorities and the three rescue centres.

 

Sudden death of one goat

 

The six goats and eight sheep saved by Animaux en Péril arrived at the rescue centre in Meslin-l’Evêque on Thursday evening. Very sadly though, one goat died during that first night. Another goat which could hardly walk was lovingly cared for in the nursery. Its prognosis is uncertain and only time will tell if it can live with its disability.

All other victims having an alarming health condition were also quarantined, mainly because of a vermin infestation of, amongst others, lice, worms and mange. The veterinarian report finds that the animals scored on average 2 on a scale of 1 to 5 (body condition scoring system), the prefinal stage of cachexia (death by starvation). Some of the females were most likely to be gestating.

The veterinarian report also discloses regarding the goats a lack of hoof trimming. The person responsible for the extreme cruel practices could only have been a person devoid of all moral sense. The animals had been subjected to torture in a hellish illegal slaughterhouse, but from the day the animals were rescued, for them a peaceful convalescence began.

 

Legal pursuit more than justified

 

The day of the rescue in Sirault, many seals were placed at the address of the torturer. A complaint has been filed at the office of the state prosecutor of Mons, which has to decide whether to prosecute the suspect. The perpetrator risks facing two types of penalties for the crimes committed: imprisonment up to a maximum of 3 years and a fine ranging from € 100,00 to € 1.000.000,00.

The UBEAW has to decide on the animals’ legal statute within the next two months as to where the animals will be sheltered definitely. There is no doubt, however, that the three rescue centres involved will get full custody of these poor souls. They will be sheltered in a well-deserved safe haven and some may even be put up for adoption.

 

Animaux en Péril would like to thank the various authorities (police, UBEAW, AFSCA) and the two other rescue centres (Le Rêve d’Aby and Animal sans Toi…t) for their excellent collaboration.

 

Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin
Saisie de 46 moutons et chèvres dans un abattoir clandestin