Pig is clubbed to death in shocking images from Thai slaughterhouse

Screaming pig is clubbed to death in shocking images from Thai slaughterhouse where animals are sliced with iron nails to force them into pens

  • Jo-Anne McArthur, 43, took the photos at a slaughterhouse just a few hours from the Thai capital, Bangkok
  • She founded We Animals Media and uses storytelling and journalism to try to put an end to animal cruelty  
  • The Thai owner of the slaughterhouse routinely invites people to see how the animals are killed, she said
  • She said a group of veterinary students had been there earlier and they vomited after seeing the slaughter 

Horrifying photos show the disgusting conditions inside a Thai slaughterhouse – where pigs are clubbed to death.

Gruesome photos show a pig dying of its injuries in a pool of blood, a sow screaming as a slaughterhouse worker swings down with a wooden club with all his might and pigs lining up in holding pens. 

Another sobering shot shows a pig slumped on his front trotters.

The images were captured by Jo-Anne McArthur, 43, the founder of We Animals Media, which is dedicated to ending animal cruelty.

An undated photo shows a sow screaming as the butcher swings his club down towards her head to stun her before slaughter in Thailand

An undated photograph shows a stressed pig standing with iron nail grazes in a holding cell at the Thai slaughterhouse

She spent several hours exploring the Thai slaughterhouse, located just a few hours from Bangkok, after being invited to look around the abattoir.

‘I wasn’t the first to be welcomed here; the owner of the facility thinks it’s important for people to see the process of slaughter and once welcomed a group of veterinary students to spend a morning here too. He said that many of them vomited,’ McArthur said.

‘On this particular day, I was welcomed and escorted through the slaughterhouse doors with an invitation to spend the morning taking photos. I explored the circuit; the holding pens, the kill floor, and the area where the animals are gutted, dismembered and packed into trucks.’

A pig rests on its front trotters in its holding pen at a Thai slaughterhouse near Bangkok in this undated photograph 

Men can be seen butchering a truck-full of pig carcasses at an outdoor market near the Thai capital of Bangkok, Thailand 

A man with a stun gun (left) immobilises the pig, while a butcher prepares to slit the animals’ throats at the Thai slaughterhouse

McArthur quietly documented truckload after truckload of terrified pigs cajoled from a long rank of vehicles using iron nails and electric prods to coerce the animals into pens. Along the journey and at the slaughterhouse, the terrified pigs kick, scratch, and bite one another in a bid for the smallest amount of space as the smell of blood and adrenaline filled the air.

‘When the pigs were hosed down they huddled together, their backs turned to the slaughter room across the floor,’ continued McArthur.

‘Some screamed. Others seemed mute and immobile. Others shook. Many tried to escape when they were prodded or dragged soaking wet to the kill floor. Fear is recognizable across most species, and with the pigs here, it is undeniably palpable.’

An abattoir worker stuns the pig in a holding room to prepare it for slaughter near Bangkok 

A man is pictured hosing down one of the pigs before slaughter at the Thai slaughterhouse

A Thai man unloads pigs from a farm truck on to the ramp leading them down to the pen where they will wait to be slaughtered

The worst was yet to come.

The ardent photojournalist documented as pigs were struck repeatedly with huge, wooden clubs before a knife was sliced into their throat and their sternums split open. The goal of the clubbing is to humanely stun the animals before slaughter, but pigs have thick skulls and the stunning was more often than not futile, succeeding only in knocking the pigs to their knees and further terrifying them.

‘Amid the chaos, pigs were left to bleed out for a minute or so in groups before another worker would jam a hook into their leg and then heave the animal into a vat of boiling water,’ added a solemn McArthur.

‘The men would then set to scraping the pigs clean of hair, using sharp knives in a shaving motion, then deftly severing their heads and hooves. While men did the slaughtering and butchering, it was Burmese women in the back rooms who emptied and cleaned the pig intestines and organs.’

A man holds a metal bowl to collect the blood of the pig after it’s dispatched by the butcher in the Thai slaughterhouse 

Burmese women clean entrails, while pigs on the other side of the wall await their death, at the slaughterhouse located a few hours from the Thai capital, Bangkok 

Dozens of pigs are cramped together in the slaughterhouse holding pen before they’re clubbed and their  necks are slit

A pig is pictured dying in a pool of its own blood on the floor of a Thai slaughterhouse in this undated photograph 

By the end of McArthur’s visit to the slaughterhouse, she left properly splattered with blood.

‘Everyone asks how I can handle bearing witness to so much violence,’ she said.

‘It is brutal but I find catharsis in action. When I started out fifteen years ago, it would have been near impossible to get these images seen but now millions of people have seen my story. I truly believe we’re amid a global rise of engagement in animal journalism, a collective seeing.

‘Photographs lead people to change, and the momentum for hope of a different story for animals is what keeps me grounded.’


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