Two men are facing prison for their part in an illegal and ''cruel'' goat-slaughtering operation.

A district judge heard how 10 goats were killed in a barn at Londonderry, North Yorkshire, using a blunt knife.

Tony Kelbrick, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told Harrogate magistrates that an undercover video showed how the slaughter was so inept that the goats were butchered ''while they appeared to be still alive''.

Mr Kelbrick said the animals were being killed in the Halal way but the premises were unlicensed and the method was ''inept, clumsy and cruel and caused considerable pain and suffering''.

He added: ''It can clearly be seen on the video that a number of cuts were required to sever the arteries and veins and a sawing motion was required as opposed to a clean cut.''

Michael Hawkswell, 26, of Nunwick, near Ripon, North Yorkshire, and Isap Lakha, 67, of Saville Road, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, both admitted their parts in the illegal slaughter today.

Lakha, a retired slaughterman with 20 years' experience, pleaded guilty to cruelly ill-treating 10 goats and slaughtering the animals without a licence.

Hawkswell admitted allowing goats he owned to be cruelly ill- treated and also allowing premises to be used as a slaughterhouse without a licence.

During the 20-minute hearing the court heard how Martin Coutts, from the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in East Anglia, began investigating the men after a tip-off.

Undercover investigator Graham Hall was brought in to make a video and the tape was passed to the RSPCA.

The court heard how the goats were bought at a market in Haswell, County Durham, before they were brought to North Yorkshire for slaughter on January 14 last year.

The hearing was also told how Lakha bought the animal carcasses for about £200 after the slaughter but insisted they were not for commercial sale.

He said the meat was to help feed his large extended family which included about 150 people. District Judge Roy Anderson adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports to be prepared.

But he told the defendants: ''In both your cases I should tell you now I'm considering a custodial sentence.''

The case was adjourned until February 3 and both men were given unconditional bail. After the hearing Mike Butcher, Chief Inspector in the RSPCA's special investigation unit, said: ''The goats suffered immense cruelty and the video is one of the worst I have seen.'' .