The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS), an Executive agency of the Food Standards Agency, enforces the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 in slaughterhouses on behalf of DEFRA. Animal cruelty within a slaughterhouse is not tolerated by the MHS who take appropriate enforcement action if there are breaches of animal welfare legislation.
Animal Aid passed to the MHS undercover footage taken in four abattoirs during 2009, where CCTV footage appeared to show evidence of animal cruelty by slaughterers at two slaughterhouses. In one of the slaughterhouses a slaughterer has had his licence revoked and the case has been referred for prosecution along with the operator of the plant. In the second two, slaughterers have had their licences revoked and a third slaughterer has been suspended. The case has been referred for investigation with a view to prosecution.