Butcher’s takes down ‘offensive’ display following complaints

HERE TODAY GONE TOMORROW: The traditional window display at JBS Family Butchers has been replaced with a sign.
HERE TODAY GONE TOMORROW: The traditional window display at JBS Family Butchers has been replaced with a sign.

A Sudbury butcher’s shop has been forced to remove its window display after receiving hate mail and complaints.

Staff at JBS Family Butchers in the Borehamgate precinct chose to take down its shop front display – featuring pigs heads, rabbits, duck and game – on Friday.

The animals were replaced with a simple cardboard sign that read: “Due to complaints, there is no window display.”

Richard Nicholson, assistant manager at the butcher’s, said in recent weeks the shop had been the target of a poison pen letter and abuse from passers-by.

“This is a traditional butcher’s and a butcher’s has been here for years,” said the 25-year-old.

“This is how it has been for a long time but we have had people commenting about the display.

“Some people say how much they like it and take pictures of the display, but it is a personal opinion. We are an old-fashioned butcher’s and all our meat is locally sourced and prepared.”

Last week, in a letter to the Free Press, Ben Mowles, from Great Cornard, said he had started avoiding the precinct due to the display.

“I have been disgusted at the needless display of multiple mutilated carcasses,” he said.

“I used to take my 12-year-old daughter to Marimba but now we avoid the entire precinct as we would rather not look at bloody, severed pigs’ heads when buying sweets.”

Daniel Cudmore, from Long Melford, said he was shocked at the shop front, which he believed would upset many children.

“I keep rabbits and I think the display of animals hanging in the window is disgusting,” he said.

“It think it must be very upsetting for children who keep animals like this as pets.”

Despite the complaints, the family business, which took over the premises from The Meat Inn three years ago, has been inundated with support from loyal customers.

Many of the followers of the Free Press’ Facebook page have also championed the shop and its display.

Sudbury mayor Adrian Osborne, who presented the shop with an award for its window display before Christmas, said he hoped the butcher’s could “strike the right balance” to keep precinct shoppers and businesses happy.

“Certain people have said they are horrified by the display, but town businesses need to be supported and a butcher’s is a butcher’s,” he said.

“I know lots of people have different views and some may not like to see animals hanging up but I hope that a balance can be found.”