February 4 Letter: A glimpse into workings of a slaughterhouse

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From: William Snowden, Dobrudden Park, Baildon Moor, Baildon.

THE picture of the inquisitive pig on the front cover of Country Week (The Yorkshire Post, January 17) was evocative. It recalled to mind an experience I had last summer.

I was attending an auction at Hartleys in Ilkley, and parked my car on Little Lane.

As I got out, I heard a high-pitched screeching sound, like grinding machinery.

Standing over six feet tall, I was able to peer over the high wall.

I saw a pig being driven through the perspex flaps of a door, into the rear of a building.It was the local slaughterhouse. The slaughterman was doing nothing amiss, but the screeching pig was clearly terrified.

After attending the auction, I returned to my car and once again peered over the wall.

The slaughterman was taking a break, at the front of the building.

A small herd of pigs huddled against a barrier, at the rear.

They were silent and still.

One pig was particularly traumatised: its head was 
bowed; its eyes, half-closed.

It seemed to sense its fate.

Pigs are gregarious; and scientific research has 
shown that pigs are intelligent as dogs.