A western Sydney abattoir and one of its ex-employees have been charged with animal cruelty.

The Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors at Wilberforce came under investigation after Lateline aired footage of pigs being bashed with a metal bar before they were slaughtered.

Shot undercover over six days at the abattoir, the footage shows pigs being dragged onto the sticking table and being belted with what looks like an iron bar.

The pigs should be rendered unconscious by a stunner before their throats are cut, but the footage shows that it has not been done properly in some incidences.

It shows the slaughterman reaching for what looks like an iron bar.

On one occasion a pig's head was pummelled seven times. A minute later the same worker beat another pig over the head 13 times.

The RSPCA has served the company that runs the abattoir with a notice to attend court next month to face nine animal cruelty charges.

The former employee has been charged with one offence.

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