Supermarkets push for abattoir CCTV
The Co-operative, Sainsbury's and Waitrose are all making moves to encourage their meat suppliers to install CCTV inside their premises, in order to improve and monitor animal welfare.
Sainsbury's said it was already moving to have cameras installed inside the abattoirs it used prior to a campaign by vegan lobbyists Animal Aid, which had been calling for industry-wide CCTV installation following a series of secret filming in slaughterhouses. Waitrose has also agreed to have CCTV installed in its abattoirs, following similar pledges by Morrisons and Marks & Spencer last year.
A spokesperson from The Co-operative Group said: "As part of its ongoing commitment to animal welfare, The Co-operative Group has taken the decision to ask its key suppliers to begin a programme of installing CCTV cameras in all areas of their premises where live animals are handled, including unloading and rest areas up to and including the point of kill. The CCTV equipment installed should be capable of recording legible time- and date-stamped images and storing these images for a period of not less than six months. The system should be fully operational by the end of June 2011."
Animal Aid has said it is keeping up the pressure on the whole supermarket industry, with a letter-writing campaign launched last month, through a mailing to its supporters, and via more national newspaper adverts on 5 February and 6 March.
An Animal Aid spokesperson said: "A supermarket chain, which has not yet agreed to insist on CCTV, has recently stated: 'You will be happy to hear that the Animal Aid report and the following campaign initiated a new trend in the meat industry. Many of our suppliers are now working on adapting their CCTV systems to suit controlling the welfare of animals'."