Three slaughtermen and an abattoir boss have admitted causing unnecessary suffering to sheep as they were being put to death after a three-year battle to bring the case to court.

Undercover footage of the halal slaughtering at Bowood Abattoir, near Thirsk, by campaign group Animal Aid in December 2014 caused uproar, sparking protests outside the premises, condemnation from the Muslim Council of Britain and calls to the government for CCTV to be installed in slaughterhouses across the country.

The film showed a worker hacking and sawing at animals' throats, in contravention of Islamic practice, as well as sheep being kicked in the face and head and being hurled into metal walls, taunted and frightened by workers at the abattoir.

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