Industrial slaughterhouse Dunbia Mansfield has stopped operations and cancelled deliveries today for 'maintenance reasons’ - but protesters say otherwise.
The news comes as World Vegan Day sees protests at meat production facilities up and down the country.
But while the Nottinghamshire plant, in Baulker Lane, Clipstone, says they have taken the opportunity to take a hiatus, protesters claim they have stopped slaughtering to 'hide' the condition of animals as they come into the facility by the lorry load.
Members of Nottinghamshire Animal Save, Manchester Pig Save and others from around Derbyshire and South Yorkshire joined to protest outside the abattoir today (Tuesday, November 1) in a bid to 'stand witness' to the slaughter of animals on site.
They held up banners saying 'beep if you have mercy for pigs’.
Protest organiser Tom Myers, 30, from Nottinghamshire Animal Save said most people don't even realise there is a slaughterhouse in the area.
He said: "It's fighting a very hard fight. To us it's common sense. If you care about animals you don't eat them.
"But because it's something you're raised to believe from a very young age so many people are brought up and told that it's right.
Lynne Page, 24, added: "They don't want us to see the conditions the animals are kept in . We want to encourage as many people to come to bear witness to the animals and look them in the eye, because that's the hard thing they never see. The abattoir will show you the cute animal and the meat on the plate but they won't show you the process in between."
Letti Ripley, 24, from Nottingham said: "It's about making people make the connection between animals that people think are cute and sweet, and those they eat.
"People use the excuse that if it's done humanely it's alright, but actually humane slaughter' is an oxymoron.
Security guards at the facility confirmed normal operations had been stopped, adding: "We've taken the opportunity today to conduct maintenance."
Responding to a request to let protesters into the facility to tour the abattoir, an employee said 'no comment'.
We asked for some general information about the operations at the site and the employee said 'no comment'.
Protester Tom Myers added: "They said they've cancelled deliveries and stopped working today because they don't want us to see the animals.