Undercover investigations are a vital part of Animal Aid’s work. They help expose the reality of industrial farming and slaughter, which in turns helps people make changes to their lifestyles to help animals.
Undercover investigations usually involve an investigator (or investigators) gaining entry to a farm or slaughterhouse and documenting what they find. Animal Aid investigations have also involved placing hidden cameras in these places and leaving them to record for a set period of time.
Before I continue, I must stress that Animal Aid has a strict investigations policy which means that there is no forced entry and no damage caused to property. Steps are taken to ensure no additional stress is caused to the animals (obviously) – and that strict biosecurity measures are observed at all times.
What have our investigations found?
Animal Aid has investigated countless farms, as well as game bird breeding facilities (used to breed birds for shooting), slaughterhouses and other establishments that exploit and abuse animals.
In British slaughterhouses we have found animals being beaten, burnt with cigarettes – and having their throats hacked at with blunt knives whilst fully conscious, to give just a few examples.
On British farms we have found dead bodies littering shed floors – a breeding ground for disease – with wounded animals left to suffer without any veterinary care. Animals are routinely mutilated, for example, debeaking and tail docking – and we frequently uncover cases of horrific neglect.
This has been the case in conventional establishments, but also those which are certified as ‘high welfare’, free range, Organic and ‘humane’.
What have our investigations resulted in?
With every investigation we aim to expose the realities of animal exploitation, whether for food, sport or entertainment. Our aim is always to show the public what these industries are hiding. Where we find law breaking, we always report our findings to the relevant authorities. Shockingly, animal welfare isn’t really considered a priority for the authorities, so it is rare that enforcement action is ever taken.
Many people who view our footage are horrified by the reality – and how they have been lied to by these industries – and so choose to adopt a plant-based diet as a result.
Some of our investigations have resulted in actions being taken against individuals and companies responsible for the abuse that our investigators found. Slaughterhouse workers have had their licenses revoked, workers have been fired – and when cases have gone to court some have received prison sentences and fines. On a political level, our slaughterhouse exposés have resulted in CCTV now being mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England, with Scotland set to follow very soon.
View our investigations
I have deliberately not included any video on this post, because the footage we often capture is so harrowing and I do not wish to upset you. But you can find videos and more information by visiting the Animal Aid website.
An investigator speaks out
VICE has recently published the below interview with an undercover investigator who has been working with animal rights groups for over 25 years. There is no horrible footage in this video, but their story is a powerful one. Please take a look.