Severed cow and sheep heads found dumped in skip at Sheffield slaughterhouse protest - WARNING: GRAPHIC PICTURE

A pixellated version of the skip full of severed heads. (Photo: Animal Aid).
A pixellated version of the skip full of severed heads. (Photo: Animal Aid).
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This is the grisly sight encountered by protesters staging a peaceful Valentine's Day demonstration outside a Sheffield slaughterhouse.

WARNING: UNEDITED GRAPHIC PICTURE BELOW

The Stop The Slaughter protest outside N Bramall and Sons.

The Stop The Slaughter protest outside N Bramall and Sons.

A group of anti-animal cruelty campaigners who had gathered outside the premises of N Bramall and Sons made the unexpected discovery of a skip full of severed animal heads just yards from a public footpath during Tuesday's demonstration.

The sight was described as "gruesome" by the 30 campaigners who had gathered at the slaughterhouse in Barnsley Road, Oxspring, to protest against the firm which was recently exposed in a shocking video which they claim shows scenes of shocking animal cruelty.

A spokesman for organisers Animal Aid and the Save Movement said: "Attendees were left shocked when they made a grisly discovery: an open-air skip filled with dozens of severed sheep and cow heads, only metres away from a popular public footpath.

"Organisers have questioned whether the disposal of animal parts in such a way is in breach of regulations."

The grisly discovery made by campaigners at the slaughterhouse.

The grisly discovery made by campaigners at the slaughterhouse.

The vigil came only weeks after the release of undercover filming conducted at the slaughterhouse by Animal Aid, which shows the "nightmarish" scenes faced by animals on death row, including distressing footage showing animals running in circles to evade being stunned, a water buffalo frantically trying to escape from a pen and a clip which also appears to show workers laughing as an animal lies on the slaughterhouse floor having been stunned.

Said Luke Steele, Farming and Slaughter Campaigns Manager for Animal Aid: “Over 30 campaigners held origami hearts and showed their compassion for animals during a peaceful Valentine’s Day vigil.

"The gruesome sights we encountered really reinforced the brutal and undignified end that these animals face, and why our presence was so necessary.

“We want to ask caring people everywhere to have a heart for animals by simply swapping animal products for a meat-free alternative. Never before has it been so easy to enjoy a cruelty-free meal.”

N Bramall and Sons opted not to comment on the footage, released last month.

A spokesman for The Food Standards Agency, which launched a probe after being made aware of the film said: “Animal welfare is a high priority for the FSA and we take all alleged breaches extremely seriously.

"When we received the footage, recorded covertly in N Bramall & Sons, from Animal Aid last Autumn we investigated immediately.

"We visited the business and reviewed the footage and records using our expert veterinarians.

"In their opinion there is nothing in the footage to suggest a serious breach of animal welfare regulations or that any avoidable pain, suffering or distress was caused to the animals.

“There were several incidents which involved overstocking in the stunning pen and some animals being held in the stunning box for too long before stunning.

"We issued written advice to the business to prevent this situation recurring. We also spoke to the plant management and the Animal Welfare Officer asking them to address the areas which could be improved, including refresher training for all slaughter staff."

“The FSA supports the mandatory use of CCTV in slaughterhouses in all live animal handling areas to help protect animal welfare. It does not replace direct oversight by management, or checks by officials, but it can improve their effectiveness. We recently met with industry representatives to discuss a joint CCTV protocol which it is hoped will set out the minimum requirements for FSA staff to access footage, frequency of viewing and retention periods for CCTV footage.”