Statement regarding footage from Gretna Meatworks Tasmania

RSPCA Australia has been provided with access to a series of excerpts from footage taken in September 2016 at the Gretna Meatworks in Tasmania. The footage shows the stunning and slaughter of several cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. The excerpts document a series of abysmal failings during the handling and slaughter of animals that would have caused the animals concerned significant and unnecessary suffering.

The key failings documented are:

  • Lack of adequate restraint during stunning causing unnecessary suffering
  • Multiple instances of ineffective stunning of cattle, pigs and sheep causing unnecessary suffering
  • Repeated stunning using the same captive bolt device causing unnecessary suffering
  • Inappropriate use of a captive bolt device on a large pig causing unnecessary suffering
  • Prolonged restraint of cattle prior to ineffective stunning
  • Poorly designed ramp and pens
  • Abusive behaviour from a worker

We understand that a formal complaint has been lodged with the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment (DPIPWE) which has responsibility for the enforcement of animal welfare standards in abattoirs in Tasmania. This matter requires immediate investigation by the DPIPWE.

Given the seriousness of the failings documented, it is our view that no further animals should be permitted to enter this facility until and unless all of the issues identified above have been fully addressed.

The RSPCA urges anyone witnessing animal cruelty to report it as soon as possible. Reports can be made via phone or online form to the RSPCA Inspectorate team in the state or territory it took place. Go to for contact details.