Following a consultation in August, it has recently been announced that CCTV is to be made mandatory in all English slaughterhouses in the new year of 2018, with the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) official veterinarians having unrestricted, unfettled access. The Wesh government is currently considering making a similar legislation.
The consultation in August resulting in over 99% of the 4000 respondents supporting the idea. The environment secretary Michael Gove has stated that these statistics show “the strength of feeling among the public that all animals should be treated with the utmost respect”. He also says the UK has “some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world” and that “these strong measures also provide a further demonstration to consumers around the world that as we leave the EU we continue to produce our food to the very highest standards.”
Gudrun Ravetz, the Senior Vice President of the British Veterinary Association says that CCTV is a “vital tool to ensure high standards of animal health, welfare and food safety.”
I am pleased that government has finally come to a decision on this topic; it is not a moment too soon. For many years people have been campaigning as secret footage of the cruelty inflicted on animals in abbatoirs was released. From 2011 to 2016 Animal Aid randomly selected 11 slaughterhouses and installed hidden cameras in all of them. In 10 out of the 11, clear evidence of law-breaking and cruelty was discovered. It is obvious that we need to be able to monitor and enforce this country’s animal welfare standards.
The RSPCA head of public affairs states that the “RSPCA looks forward to seeing the details of the proposal… where cameras are located, footage quality…”
France passed legislation in January this year making CCTV mandatory in all abbatoirs and India has similar laws that have been around since 2012!
What has surprised me about the introduction of this new law is the adjustment. Personally I believe that the adjustment period of up to six months is incredibly long just to install some cameras. One or two months perhaps but six seems excessive.
Why should we have madatory CCTV in abbatoirs? (in no particular order)
- Firearms are often stolen from slaughterhouses and are used to harm outside creatures, including humans.
- other countries has made it law, why haven’t we?
- slaughterhouse employees are not checked for previous criminal convictions before being hired.
- many are breaking the law and so should be punished accordingly.
- the animals inside the abbatoirs do not want to die. People who eat meat should know this.