MPs back slaughterhouse CCTV campaign

MPs from Manchester and Birmingham have expressed their support for Animal Aid’s campaign to introduce mandatory CCTV to the inside of UK slaughterhouses. 

Animal rights group Animal Aid said that John Leech, MP for Manchester Withington, and Roger Godsiff, MP for Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath, have pledged their support to the campaign, while 37,988 people have now signed a government e-petition which demands that the measure is introduced.

The campaign was launched after an undercover Animal Aid investigation, which allegedly uncovered breaches of welfare laws and animal abuse.

Leech said: “I support Animal Aid’s campaign for mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses. Big supermarkets insist on it, the Food Standards Agency supports it and it is absolutely necessary to ensure the highest standard of animal welfare and protection.”

Animal welfare and environmental group Compassion in World Farming has also expressed its support for compulsory cameras.

However, the government remains unmoved on the issue. After the e-petition received over 10,000 signatures, a government response said it “encourages the highest standards of welfare at slaughter” and already has regulations in place to protect the welfare of animals.

It added that it had doubts over the efficacy of CCTV in slaughterhouses: “Some of the undercover evidence has been gathered in premises which already had CCTV, which implies CCTV may not be an effective monitoring tool, although it could be helpful as a verification tool for audit purposes after a welfare breach has taken place in a particular slaughterhouse. The government is not convinced of the need for further legislation at this time but will be keeping the need for CCTV under review.”

The Association of Non-Stun Abattoirs has also thrown its weight behind the campaign, Mohammed Saleem, halal advisor to UK and EU parliamentarians, said he believed “all abattoirs, including halal, should embrace CCTV at their killing stations”.

He believed it would also dispel some of the negativity towards halal slaughter: “CCTV will ensure that farm animals have a painless and humane end to their lives and also end the myth that halal slaughtering (non-stun) is barbaric.”

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