SNP backs slaughterhouse CCTV to combat animal cruelty

Posted on the 14th October 2016

The Scottish National Party has passed a policy motion at its conference to back compulsory CCTV in slaughterhouses, in an effort to combat unlawful animal cruelty.

After being briefed by the SNP’s North Berwick Branch on the widespread suffering of animals slaughtered for food, the SNP has adopted official party policy by unanimous acclaim at its conference in Glasgow, to back mandatory CCTV in Scottish slaughterhouses. Animal Aid has uncovered unlawful practices being conducted in 9 out of 10 UK abattoirs investigated. This includes instances of cigarettes being stubbed out on pigs, sheep being picked up and thrown by their fleeces and animals being beaten and others stamped on.

In the successful motion (see Notes to Editors below), which was proposed by Alex Campbell of the North Berwick Branch, seconded by the Dowager Duchess of Hamilton, and co-sponsored by Alyn Smith MP, George Kerevan MP and Gail Ross MSP, the sponsors note: “Conference is concerned about the lack of transparency of animal welfare standards in Scotland due to lack of the CCTV provision.”

Says Farming and Slaughter Campaign Manager Luke Steele:

‘Animal Aid’s covert filming has found lawbreaking in 9 out of 10 abattoirs investigated, which has included cigarettes being stubbed out on pigs, sheep being picked up and thrown by their fleeces and animals being beaten.

‘The SNP’s support for mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses recognises the vital need to detect, deter and prosecute unlawful animal cruelty in abattoirs. Animal Aid calls for other parties to now follow this example.’

Says Alex Campbell, Member of SNP North Berwick Branch and proposer of the motion:

‘We are delighted that the Resolution has passed and that this is the first important step towards getting legislative commitment to mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses.’

In August, statistics from the Food Standards Agency revealed that more than 4,000 severe breaches of animal welfare regulation took place in UK slaughterhouses over the past two years. Animal Aid’s campaign for mandatory CCTV and independent monitoring has received widespread political, industry and public backing since being launched in 2009.

Notes for Editors

  • For further information, please contact Luke Steele, Farming and Slaughter Campaigns Manager, on 01732 364546.
  • Visit our Say Yes to Slaughterhouse CCTV website for information about our undercover investigations at UK slaughterhouses and our campaign for independently-monitored, mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses.
  • The motion is as follows:

    Conference is concerned about the lack of transparency of animal welfare standards in abattoirs in Scotland due to the lack of CCTV provision.

    Conference notes that the Scottish Government recommends the installation of CCTV as best practice, however this is a voluntary scheme and currently only 67 per cent of slaughterhouses have CCTV in the killing area, 59% in the stunning area and 64 per cent in the lairage and unloading area.

    Conference further notes that in England and Wales, legislation is moving through parliament which sets out where cameras are sited, insists they are well maintained, details for how long the footage must be kept, sets out who gets to see it and when, and has proportionate sanctions for those who refuse to comply.

    Conference therefore believes that similar legislation should be considered in Scotland to ensure we have the highest animal welfare standards possible.


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