HUNDREDS of angry protesters are set to descend on Bakewell to demonstrate against a Peak firm at the centre of an animal welfare investigation.
The Red Lion Abattoir is being investigated by both the Food Standards Agency and the RSPCA following allegations of animal welfare offences.
As a result, it’s owners, Red Lion Meat Packers Ltd, based in Rowland, near Bakewell, are being targeted by protesters who want to see the company directors prosecuted and the abattoir shut down.
The slaughterhouse, in Nantwich, Cheshire, hit the national news after workers there were secretly filmed apparently mistreating frightened horses before killing them using methods that contravene animal welfare regulations.
Animal lover Jackie Jones has organised a protest both at in the centre of Bakewell and at the firm’s Rowland base from noon on Saturday, February 16.
“I’ve already got hundreds of people signed up to it,” she said.
“We’re speaking for horses who can’t speak for themselves.”
Jackie, of Cheshire, has been a life long lover of horses and says they are extremely intelligent animals.
“They know what is going on when they walk into a slaughterhouse even before a gun is fired,” she said.
“They even scream when they’re petrified.”
A spokesman for Red Lion Meat Packers Ltd, which owns Red Lion Abattoir, said: “This has been a family run business, operating in excess of 40 years with no previous animal welfare issues.
“The scenes captured on film shocked the whole family, suffice to say they were as appalled as anyone wishing to demonstrate would be.
“They have taken decisive, disciplinary and preventative action so that no further incidents of this nature occurs again ever.
“Both the management at Red Lion Abattoir and the Food Standard Agency officers in attendance view animal welfare and public health with paramount importance.
“The general public may not be aware all abattoirs in the UK have 100 per cent veterinary supervision.
“At Red Lion there are three permanent members of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) comprising of the official veterinary surgeon and meat hygiene inspectors throughout production.
“I would like to add, no product from this operation is or has been associated with the recent horse meat in burgers scandal.
“My message to the people planning demonstrations is: ‘be assured that controls are in place and will be constantly under review, incidents of this nature, should not occur anywhere and most certainly will not occur again at these premises’.”
Jackie has set up an e-petition to close down the abattoir which can be viewed by visiting epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/44747.
For details on the demonstration call Jackie on 07591008235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org