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Delhaize drops West Flanders abattoir over animal cruelty video

11:24 12/09/2017

Supermarket chain Delhaize has announced it will stop working with a slaughterhouse in West Flanders with immediate effect after an animal welfare charity published undercover video of cattle appearing to be mistreated.

Not-for-profit organisation Animal Rights on Tuesday published extracts from what it says amounted to 59 hours of filming with a hidden camera in July at the Verbist abattoir in Izegem, West Flanders.

The video appears to show some cattle were not correctly stunned and were still conscious at the time of slaughter.

"The images show intense panic," the organisation said. "The animals have seen the slaughter of the animals before them. Some are terrified and try to climb out of the box."

The organisation also says that a slaughterhouse worker routinely used a taser on the animals, which is prohibited by law.

Animal Rights has lodged a complaint with the Flemish animal welfare inspectorate and has asked that the abattoir be closed. Flemish animal welfare minister Ben Weyts was due to visit the premises on Tuesday.

Delhaize said in a statement that it "does not tolerate any harm to the welfare of animals", adding that it would increase the number of spot checks on other slaughterhouses with which it works.