RSCPA calls for mandatory CCTV

The RSPCA has made CCTV a mandatory requirement for all abattoirs operating in its Freedom Food scheme and called for it to become mandatory in all slaughterhouses.

Dr Marc Cooper, senior scientific manager from the RSPCA’s farm animals science team, said his organisation firmly believed that mandatory installation of CCTV would make the slaughter process more transparent and improve welfare for farm animals in the UK.

“The public has a right to expect that all farmed animals have as painless and humane an end to their lives as possible. We know this is an issue of huge importance to our supporters and the general public,” he said.

“Not only are cameras a good deterrent against acts of animal cruelty and poor practices, but they also have very positive uses, as a security measure and as a useful training aid for slaughtermen, vets and meat hygiene inspectors to ensure standards are maintained.

“Obviously, cameras should not be used as the only means of safeguarding animal welfare and they can never replace good training and competent staff.”

As of 1 November 2011, it is mandatory for all abattoirs in the Freedom Food scheme to have CCTV cameras giving a clear view of animals in several crucial areas of the abattoir, from the animals being unloaded on arrival through to death.

The footage must be kept for at least three months and must be available to be viewed by Freedom Food field assessors or RSPCA farm livestock officers during routine and unannounced visits.

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