A RIVER of blood and guts from a slaughterhouse running towards the sea in Ardrossan has caused outrage with animal welfare activists.

A video surfaced on social media this week showing a red river behind Robertson’s in Ardrossan but the ham curers say that the incident, which was from June this year, is isolated and they have taken steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

But the organisers of Ayrshire Animal Save say that more needs to be done and that the video is shocking.

Filmed by beachcomber Eilidh Beck, the video shows blood and other animal matter running down towards the sea - just a couple of hundred yards away from where tourists and locals alike have been enjoying the beach and swimming in the water during the recent heatwave.

Eilidh explained: “I’m a beach comber and I live in Millport, I just comb up and down looking for crystals and stuff like that and I smelt death, like a dead bird or something like that. I turned around and seen all this blood and I realised what it was and I knew I had to video it but you can see from my reaction in the video, it was absolutely horrific, it was like something out of a horror movie. The smell you couldn’t get out your nostrils, it was sickening. “

Lucy Clack from Ayrshire Animal Save said: “When we saw what had happened we were devastated. Ayrshire Animal Save come to Robertson’s once a month to bear witness to the pigs arriving for slaughter, so we’re used to the sounds and smells of what goes on behind its walls. But to see the realities of animal slaughter spill out into the wider community is shocking.

Thomas Kelly, who is co-organiser of Ayrshire Animal Save added: “We heard a lot of people, not even vegan or vegetarian saying they are disgusted by it, they say that their families go to the beach with their kids and their dogs and they are quite disgusted about it and they want something done about it.

Lucy added: “From our perspective, we have been in contact with them both (NAC and SEPA) and they have taken water samples but we want reassurance that they have tested for the pathogens that are spread by farmed animals and raw flesh, as well as the antibiotics that are given to them while alive. If there is no fault, and we would be floored if there wasn’t any fault, we want SEPA to change the bathing standards and we want North Ayrshire Council to campaign for bathers, dogs, tourists and fisherman to stay out of this bay.

David McNay, SEPA Unit Manager, said: “Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment and investigates all reports of pollution.

“On Monday 23 July SEPA became aware of reports about a discharge onto the beach at Ardrossan, with concerns that it may be coming from a nearby animal processing facility.

“A SEPA officer inspected the beach at low tide, and found a small surface water flow but no ongoing pollution. They also visited the facility and identified a surface water drain on the site that could allow wash-down water to escape the site. SEPA is clear that compliance with environmental regulations is non-negotiable, and has stressed to the operator that steps must be taken to prevent such a discharge in the future.

“Regular testing of the water quality at Saltcoats / Ardrossan has been ongoing since the bathing water season began at the start of June, and these samples were well within the acceptable limits at the time that the discharge was reported.”

A spokesperson for Robertson’s said: “John Robertson & Sons Ltd is aware of an issue identified on 25th June 2018 and Senior Management are currently investigating why and how this has happened.

“We have been in contact with SEPA and North Ayrshire Council in order to establish the cause and to ensure that the appropriate corrective actions are in place.

“Early indications suggest that this is an isolated incident.

“The Company has been operating from this site since 1983 and this is the only incident to have taken place of this kind.

2We always have and will continue to be committed to our environmental responsibilities.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “Our Environmental Health team has been liaising SEPA who are dealing with this issue under Trade Effluent legislation.

“The Council will continue to offer local support and advice where possible to prevent effluent discharging on to the beach, however in this case, SEPA are the regulator in Scotland for dealing with these matters.”

Ayrshire Animal Save will be holding a vigil outside of Robertson’s on August 22 from 10am until 1pm