More cruelty in abattoirs prompts call for CCTV

Secretly recorded video captured live turkeys being cruelly mistreated by Ingham abattoir workers in Sydney's south-west.
Secretly recorded video captured live turkeys being cruelly mistreated by Ingham abattoir workers in Sydney's south-west.

An animal rights group is calling for mandatory CCTV monitoring at all Australian abattoirs after distressing footage emerged of turkeys being bashed, kicked and stomped on at a poultry processing plant in Sydney's south-west.

Animal Liberation has called for police to investigate the workers shown abusing turkeys in the footage, which was recorded covertly at Inghams' processing plant in Tahmoor over two weeks last month.

Campaign manager Emma Hurst said Animal Liberation had received 140 hours of footage anonymously several days ago. The organisation was confident it was authentic. It was unclear whether a worker had placed the hidden camera.

She said Animal Liberation had identified 136 instances of cruelty and aggravated cruelty, so bad it led to the animal's death, or injuries so severe it would be cruel to keep the animal alive.

RAW VIDEO: Workers at an Ingham poultry plant in Sydney's south west are secretly filmed mistreating live turkeys. WARNING: some viewers may find these images distressing.

''There are scenes where they've put the music up very, very loud, the workers are screaming, jumping about, dancing, picking up the turkeys, dancing while holding onto the turkeys, throwing them onto the shackles,'' Ms Hurst said.

The footage had been given to the NSW Police Assistant Commissioner for Rural Crime and rural crime detectives.

A veterinarian who was asked to review the footage and prepare a report for the group told the ABC's Lateline it was ''among the worst [cases of animal cruelty] I've ever seen''.

''If this sort of behaviour was witnessed in general public, there'd be a huge outcry,'' Mark Simpson said.

The footage shows workers taking turkeys from crates and shackling them before they are stunned and slaughtered. In one case when a bird falls to the ground, a worker repeatedly kicks it. The worker then picks it up and slams it against a cage, before stomping on the head. A colleague looks on but doesn't intervene.

In another case, two workers kick and knee a bird as it hangs in its shackles, before the workers appear to celebrate. Later, a worker is shown checking around a corner, apparently to make sure no one is watching, before lining up a bird and kicking it.

Inghams chief executive Kevin McBain said an investigation had been opened into the ''intolerable incidents''.

NSW Police has been contacted for comment.