FSA agrees CCTV guidelines for abattoirs
The FSA board has agreed a set of guidelines for slaughterhouses that use CCTV for animal welfare purposes.
The guidelines were presented at the Agency’s open board meeting on Tuesday (15 November) and include daily checks of footage by FSA OVs, retention of footage for sufficient time to enable investigations and the use of CCTV for training purposes, both for OVs and slaughtermen.
The board unanimously agreed the proposals, although there was a suggestion to add a requirement that the RSPCA is given access to the footage. FSA director of operations Andrew Rhodes said this would be difficult, but said the FSA would be “pushing for the regulator to have unrestricted access... for an appropriate period of time”.
Commenting on CCTV in slaughterhouses, FSA chief executive Tim Smith said that letters from the public about the welfare of animals at slaughter was the “single largest” component of his mailbox.
However, he did recognise the progress made by the industry and said it deserved praise for installing CCTV voluntarily. “We are struggling to keep up with the number of premises where CCTV has been put in place.”
Smith said that the FSA has completed an animal welfare survey and the analysis will be finished by March. This will inform a second report, which will be presented to the board, who will be asked to decide whether or not the Agency should recommend that Defra ministers make CCTV monitoring mandatory in slaughterhouses.