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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April, 2005, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Slaughterhouse pair sent to jail
Sheep in pen
The judge condemned the pair for "bringing farming into disrepute"
A father and son have been sent to prison for running an illegal slaughterhouse in North Yorkshire where "botched" killings where carried out.

Harold Gray and his son Michael allowed sheep to be killed at their Upper Austby farm in Langbar, near Ilkley, Harrogate Magistrates' Court heard.

The pair admitted three charges of animal cruelty, as did their halal slaughterman Sumaullah Patel of Bolton.

Harold and Michael Gray were jailed for three months and Patel for two months.

'Pain and distress'

District Judge Roy Anderson condemned the Grays for bringing farming into disrepute, and Patel for carrying out "incompetent and botched" killings.

"I am satisfied that you caused pain and distress to these animals which in a controlled and regulated environment would not have occurred," he said.

He said Patel had been employed to slaughter meat for Muslim customers. However, he said he carried out the killing using incompetent and botched methods which were not in accordance with halal practices.

Mr Anderson added that the Grays showed total disregard for the welfare of their animals and acted in a "reckless" manner when disposing animal waste.

The court heard conditions at the Upper Austby farm and slaughterhouse were exposed when animal welfare activists secretly filmed sheep being killed, using Muslim-style slaughter techniques, in 2003.

Farm raid

It was told the slaughterhouse had an open sewer running through the middle of it with human faeces present, a chopping block was covered in bird droppings, meat had maggots in it and meat hooks were rusty.

Meat from the slaughterhouse was delivered to shops in Bradford and Keighley.

The video was given to North Yorkshire Trading Standards which raided the farm a month later accompanied by staff from the police and government officials.

The Grays also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Mr Patel, of Sunningdale Road, Bolton.

Cattle ban

They also admitted 11 offences of contravening the post-BSE protection regulations, failing to dispose properly of high-risk material and breaching rules on cattle movements, passports and records.

The Grays denied a charge of running an unlicensed slaughterhouse but were convicted at an earlier hearing.

Harold Gray was banned from keeping cattle and sheep for 10 years and Michael was banned for five years.

After the case Graham Venn, head of trading standards at North Yorkshire County Council, said: "I hope these sentences will not only teach the Grays a lesson but also act as a deterrent to any other individual who may consider doing something similar."

Slaughterhouse pair face prison
22 Feb 05 |  North Yorkshire

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