A Wiltshire abattoir which was found guilty last year of animal welfare offences is featured in a BBC Panorama investigation into the slaughter of race horses.

They were convicted after a horse which could not walk, could hardly breathe and kept falling over was sent on for transport.

F Drury & Sons, of Tockenham near Calne, and L J Potter of Somerset, with the director of both companies, Stephen Potter, were fined £22,170 plus £10,000 in costs by Aldershot Magistrates Court on September 21, 2020.

The BBC investigation features covert recording on how rules designed to protect horses from a cruel death appear to be regularly ignored at one of the UK's biggest abattoirs.

Animal Aid, which has long campaigned for an end to horse racing, set up covert cameras at Drury and Sons, an abattoir which has a licence to kill horses.

"When we looked at the footage we were absolutely astounded at the sheer volume of young thoroughbreds," said Animal Aid spokesman Dene Stansall.

The footage was recorded over four days at the end of 2019 and the start of 2020.

The abattoir told the BBC it did not accept any form of animal abuse.

In 2018, L J Potter Ltd transported a horse from Northern Ireland along with other horses to Drury’s abattoir.

As the horses were being unloaded a grey mare was found to be lying on her side and unable to rise. CCTV footage showed the horse attempting to stand 5 times, but continually falling over until eventually she managed to stand unable to bear weight on her right fore leg and reluctant to move.

The court heard evidence that either a vet should have been called or she should have been put down. Instead, the court heard that Stephen Potter instructed the driver to transport the mare to his farm in Somerset.

The mare was left alone at the abattoir overnight until seen by a vet who said the animal needed immediate destruction.

District Judge, Tim Pattinson, said that Mr Potter had shown an excessively relaxed approach to the problem and had underplayed the pain and suffering of the horse.

The case was brought by Wiltshire Council Trading Standards.