PETA backs bid for CCTV in abattoirs

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has got behind a petition for compulsory CCTV in abattoirs, but the British Meat Processing Association (BMPA) said it has concerns over such regulations.

PETA is backing the e-petition for parliament which currently has 12,930 signatures. Created by Animal Aids Kate Fowler, it reads: We urge the government to make CCTV installation mandatory for all slaughterhouses, with selected footage independently monitored by welfare experts.

Properly monitored CCTV would deter abuse, encourage best practice, help with staff training, and provide evidence for prosecutions.

The BMPAs Stephen Rossides said that while it is fundamentally important that all abattoir operators meet the requirements of the law and apply high animal welfare standards, the association has some apprehensions over compulsory CCTV.

He said: Does it, of itself, prevent animal welfare breaches? Ultimately this comes down to proper training, and responsible and humane personal behaviour by individuals, though management should also inculcate a culture of high animal awareness. We also have questions around who has access to CCTV footage, and how it is used. For some businesses, the cost of CCTV may be an issue. Finally, do we want to introduce yet more regulation?

Both the petition and PETA used Animal Aids investigation, where it allegedly filmed animal welfare breaches in eight abattoirs, as an example of the need for mandatory CCTV. PETA said the petition was the first step towards creating transparency and stopping workers from getting away with abusing animals.

Rossides, however, added: In practice, many if not most, BMPA members already have CCTV installed in the stunning and slaughter area.

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