CCTV may cause employment problems - AIMS

A leading trade body in the meat industry has warned that the introduction of CCTV in all abattoirs may lead to difficulties employing staff in the future.

Norman Bagley, policy director for the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS), said the trade body cautiously welcomed the announcement.

“We support the use of CCTV in slaughterhouses. The devil will be in the detail, however."

He said it might make it more difficult to recruit employees to the sector. “The presence of CCTV in live animal areas and slaughter areas will potentially make it more difficult to retain staff working in these areas. Furthermore, we anticipate it may be more difficult to recruit new staff to work in these areas. This is of concern due to the nature and threat to the workforce in general, due to problems that may occur because of exiting the EU.”

He added that any implementation needed to be “fair and practical”.

“We believe a fair and practical solution would be to provide FSA [Food Standards Agency] veterinarians unrestricted access to contemporaneous live feed, which would completely address the issue of stunning pens which are difficult to view.

“To permit a prosecuting authority, FSA, to review months of recordings of staff who have not consented to being filmed and initiate retrospective prosecutions is unprecedented. Similar controls over staff in hospitals and care homes would never be contemplated, so there is no justification for selective and discriminatory treatment of abattoir workers."

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