Heartbreaking Undercover Footage of Italy’s Cow Slaughterhouses Will Make You Sob

A new undercover investigation released by Animal Equality Italia into Italy’s cow slaughterhouses exposes egregious animal cruelty.

The heartbreaking footage shows workers mistreating animals by violently pushing and pulling them, hitting cows on the head with heavy metal rods, and failing to properly stun animals before slaughter. Live cows are tied up next to the bodies of slaughtered animals. Some cows are still conscious when they are hoisted up by one leg and stabbed in the neck, writhing as they bleed out.

According to the animal rights group, the footage highlights serious regulatory problems: the absence of strict controls enforcing regulations and a lack of consequences for those who break the law.

In a statement on Animal Equality Italia’s website, Executive Director Matteo Cupi writes:
Without investigations and the work of organizations, there would be no way to know the truth and consumers would remain completely unaware of all this. Of course, consumers can always choose to help animals by reducing or avoiding meat consumption, but it is a question of transparency. (Our translation.)
Mercy For Animals has conducted over 60 undercover investigations in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Brazil and each time we’ve revealed horrific abuse.

In fact, the Animal Equality video reminds us of one of the most disturbing investigations MFA has ever conducted. Investigators in slaughterhouses throughout Mexico found cows and pigs violently kicked and beaten, shocked with electric prongs in their faces and eyes, stabbed repeatedly and left to choke on their own blood and vomit, and even cut open while still conscious and able to feel pain.

Additionally, the investigation showed minors participating in animal slaughter. These sickening abuses were documented at municipal slaughterhouses in several states across Mexico.

If we wouldn’t subject dogs or cats to such appalling treatment, how can we pay the meat industry to do it to farmed animals? In all the ways that matter, farmed animals are just like the companion animals we adore at home. Yet we relegate farmed animals to intense and nightmarish cruelties: cage confinement; agonizing mutilations; and gruesome, terrifying deaths.

Sadly, the meat industry is legally allowed to abuse billions of animals each year. While a few animals manage to escape from slaughterhouses and run for their lives, most are not so lucky.

If this investigation shook you to the core and you want to do something, it’s time to denounce the unnecessary killing of animals. We can live our values of kindness and compassion by leaving animal products off our plates.