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Abattoir employee sacked after abuse caught on camera

WARNING: This video contains graphic scenes that some viewers may find distressing.

An abattoir employee has been sacked and three others suspended after an animal rights charity filmed secret footage of sheep being mistreated.

The footage, filmed by Animal Aid, appears to show employees at Bowood Lamb abattoir in Thirsk, North Yorkshire punching, kicking and hacking at the necks of sheep with a blade.

A statement from the halal slaughterhouse said today that animal welfare is its "highest priority" and described the footage as "highly regrettable".

Our correspondent Damon Green reports:

Halal slaughterhouse footage 'highly regrettable'

WARNING: This video contains graphic scenes that some viewers may find distressing.

The halal slaughterhouse where workers were secretly filmed appearing to mistreat animals has said animal welfare is its "highest priority" and described the footage released today as "highly regrettable".

Bowood Lamb abattoir in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, has sacked one worker and suspended three more after Animal Aid released images and video it captured on hidden cameras in December.

In a statement it referred to "one slaughterman" who "fell below standards" and said that it is awaiting the results of any investigation into its three suspended employees.

Bowood Lamb makes animal welfare its highest priority.

We set very high standards for the way in which animals that pass through our premises are treated and we enforce those standards rigorously.

Everyone working for us knows and understands the standards we require. It is highly regrettable that one of our slaughtermen fell below those standards.As soon as we were aware of this failing we dismissed this staff member for gross misconduct.

This was consistent with the approach we would always take in a situation of this type.

– Bowood Lamb

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North Yorkshire Police respond to 15 accidents

North Yorkshire Police say they have responded to over 15 road accidents this morning after severe weather led to "extremely treacherous" conditions.

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Mother of baby found in wheelie bin believed identified

Police believe they have identified the mother of a new-born baby who was found dead in a wheelie bin. The infant was found by a member of the public on Monday in Richmond, North Yorkshire, in a communal area of a small housing estate on the outskirts of the historic market town.

Forensics scoured for evidence at the scene of the baby's death.

Tonight, North Yorkshire Police said in a statement: "Officers believe they have now identified the mother who is receiving medical treatment and care."

It said a post-mortem examination on the baby conducted today suggested the infant was stillborn.

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Head of midwifery urges public 'think about the baby and come forward'

The head of midwifery at Darlington Memorial Hospital has spoken to Tyne Tees and urgently appealed for the mother of a new born baby girl who was found dead in Richmond to come forward.

Anne Holt, head of midwifery at Darlington Memorial has asked the mother or anyone who knows anything to "think of the baby, who is here with us...think about the baby and come forward."

We are appealing for mum, or family members, to come forward so that we can treat her baby with the dignity and respect that she deserves.

If she comes forward all of our midwives have training in support and have dealt with women previously who may have given birth in similar circumstances. They are used to dealing with difficult emotional circumstances.

We have specialist midwives who have specific counselling skills. So there's lots of help available and the staff will be very understanding and sympathetic towards what this mother has gone through.

– Anne Holt, Head of midwifery at Darlington Memorial Hospital

She also has a message for anyone who has any suspicions about coming forward to the police:

First of all from the mother's point of view, in these types of circumstances, there could be very serious health issues and that is one of the reasons why we would urge the mother to come forward, to get the medical help and support that she requires.

But also, from the emotional point of view, the fact that her baby is here with us and the fact that that baby needs her mother, we would encourage them to think about the baby and come forward.

– Anne Holt, Head of midwifery at Darlington Memorial Hospital

If anyone wants to get in touch, staff at the hospital are encouraging anyone to call the Darlington Memorial switchboard and they will put them through to the relevant people.

Forensic team search scene where a newborn baby girl was found dead in wheelie bin

A forensics team has been deployed and is at work at the scene where a local resident found the dead body of a baby in a wheelie bin at Whitcliffe Grange, Richmond around 2.40pm this afternoon.

Forensics are at work at the scene of the baby death. Credit: ITV News

Inspector Mark Gee of North Yorkshire Police said: "Our enquires are ongoing to trace the mother of the baby. My primary concern at this time is that she receives the urgent medical attention that she will need with the relevant support."

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New born baby found dead in Richmond

North Yorkshire Police have issued an urgent appeal to help find the mother of a new born baby girl who was found dead in Richmond.

New born baby found dead in Richmond

A member of the public found the baby's body in a wheelie bin in a communal waste area on Whitcliffe Grange in the town around 2.40 pm today (Monday December 1, 2014).

Paramedics tried to revive the baby girl but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Enquiries are at a very early stage and our primary concern it to locate the mother of the new born baby girl to ensure that she receives urgent medical care.

It is highly likely that the mother is in a very distressed state and needs professional support.

– Inspector Mark Gee, North Yorkshire Police
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