A SYDNEY abattoir has stopped slaughtering and faces closure and prosecution after hidden-camera footage of chilling animal cruelty emerged.
The NSW Food Authority ordered the immediate halt yesterday to slaughter at the Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors at Wilberforce, in Sydney's west, after seeing undercover footage apparently taken by a worker at the abattoir.
''This is one of the worst cases I've seen in an abattoir of animal cruelty,'' said Peter Day, a spokesman for the authority. The footage, recorded over six days at the end of last month, shows workers mistreating sheep, cattle, pigs and goats.
It shows sheep being hung up and skinned while apparently still conscious, and a man repeatedly belting live pigs over the head with a metal bar.
The authority, the RSPCA and the Department of Primary Industries will investigate the abattoir for breaches of food regulations and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
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