Government launches consultation on slaughterhouse CCTV

Posted on the 11th August 2017

After almost a decade of campaigning by Animal Aid, the government has finally launched a consultation on plans to make CCTV mandatory for slaughterhouses in England.

Under the plans proposed by the government, cameras would be mandatory in all areas of the slaughterhouse where live animals are present. Slaughterhouse vets would have unrestricted access to the footage.

Animal Aid first began investigating slaughterhouses in 2009. The organisation has now filmed inside 14 slaughterhouses, and found lawbreaking on a disturbing scale. This has included animals being beaten, having cigarettes stubbed out on them, and even being deliberately given electric shocks. In May 2017, Animal Aid released a damning dossier of evidence entitled Britain’s Failing Slaughterhouses. This revealed that 93 per cent of slaughterhouses filmed by Animal Aid and others had been found to be breaking animal welfare laws.

The campaign group is also calling for a proper system of independent monitoring, which would see random sections of slaughterhouse footage being spot-checked by experts. Last year, a report that was commissioned by Animal Aid and led by Professor Ian Rotherham of Sheffield Hallam University, found that a monitoring system of this kind would be ‘cost-effective and feasible’.

Says Animal Aid Director, Isobel Hutchinson:

‘After many years of campaigning for mandatory, independently monitored CCTV in slaughterhouses, we are greatly encouraged by this news. If implemented, this crucial measure will undoubtedly help to protect vulnerable animals from the kind of gratuitous abuse and violence that we have filmed during our many undercover investigations. Whilst we welcome the access that vets would have to the footage, we urge the government to implement a proper system of independent monitoring, so that slaughterhouses can be routinely spot-checked, and to ensure that robust action is taken when illegal abuse is identified.

‘Although this development is undoubtedly a huge step forward, we urge the public to remember that even when the law is followed to the letter, slaughter is a brutal and pitiless business that can never be cruelty-free. We call on everyone who wants to prevent animal suffering to embrace the growing trend towards compassionate living and go vegan.’


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