France passes bill ordering CCTV in slaughterhouses

Posted on the 13th January 2017

On 12 January France passed a bill ordering slaughterhouses to install CCTV cameras, following an outcry over animal cruelty. Members of the French National Assembly were informed that lawbreaking is a widespread problem in the nation’s abattoirs.

The new bill requires slaughterhouses to install CCTV cameras across all areas, including in lairages and on the killing floor, by 2018. A trial will take place this year to inform how the technology will be rolled out across the board. Those caught inflicting unlawful cruelty on animals could face one year in prison.

Animal Aid – one of the UK’s leading animal protection organisations – is today calling on George Eustice MP, Minister for DEFRA, to bring forward similar measures to ensure the use of independently-monitored CCTV becomes mandatory in UK slaughterhouses, in an effort to combat unlawful animal cruelty. We have reason to believe lawbreaking is a widespread problem in UK slaughterhouses, potentially worse than the situation in France which resulted in legislation being passed.

Animal Aid has uncovered unlawful practices being conducted in 9 out of 10 UK abattoirs investigated. This includes cigarettes being stubbed out on pigs, sheep being picked up and thrown by their fleeces and other animals being stamped on. Furthermore, Food Standards Agency audits show that not a single UK slaughterhouse was in full compliance when checked. The Food Standards Agency, alongside a cross-party representation of more than 200 MPs and the British Veterinary Association now support mandatory CCTV.

Says Farming and Slaughter Campaigns Manager, Luke Steele:

‘Animal Aid’s covert filming has found lawbreaking in 90 per cent of slaughterhouses investigated, which has included cigarettes being stubbed out on pigs, sheep being picked up and thrown by their fleeces and animals being beaten. If the French National Assembly can make CCTV mandatory, then why can the UK Parliament not do the same?

‘We today call on George Eustice MP to recognise the vital need to implement this important tool and bring forward a change in the law.’

Notes for editors

  • For any further comments please contact Luke Steele, Farming and Slaughter Campaigns Manager, on 01732 364546 Ext 233
  • Visit our Slaughterhouse CCTV website for more information on our campaign for mandatory, independently-monitored CCTV in all slaughterhouses.

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