Don't penalise small abattoirs with CCTV

Through MTJ, I have been following the issue of CCTV in abbatoirs and read with interest the comments of Tim Smith, chief executive of the FSA, who, despite being in the difficult position of trying to appease everybody, does not understand the impact the implementation of CCTV in small abattoirs would bring.

Some 20 years ago when I took over the family business, I went back to using a small craft abbatoir and, over the years, I have fought to ensure that it survives, while having visited it at every stage of my animals making their last journey. It produces a quality product that is handled with respect to ensure I have a premium product to sell. The owner has a hands-on approach, to ensure animal welfare is top of his agenda. So why is he, along with many other small abbattoirs, being told that they must install CCTV, as to do so would close them down? This would leave me with the choice of sending my animals to abbatoirs that are not ony very large, but turn out an inferior product, with added miles of travel that would definitely not be good for the welfare of the animals.

I certainly believe that bad practice should be highlighted and I know that recent cases have seen people remove their livestock from these operations. However, the small family-run operations, where the family's livelihood is on the line, should not be hit with having to install CCTV. In fact, if Mr Smith would like to visit the operation I use, to see for himself what I am talking about, then I would be happy to arrange it. In the meantime, however, help the small man and don't force him out of business.

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