Author Topic: United Kingdom: CCTV call for slaughterhouse in bid to monitor animal welfare  (Read 1611 times)

WA Export News

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6669
  • Karma: +4/-0
 CCTV call for abbatoirs in bid to monitor animal welfare

CCTV should be mandatory in abattoirs across Wales to monitor animal welfare at the point of slaughter, an Assembly Member says.

The call was made in a debate in the Senedd by Labour backbencher Rebecca Evans, AM for Mid and West Wales.

But a farming union said farmers shouldn’t be forced to “pick up the cost” if it were not a pan-Europe or worldwide measure.

It follows on from the launch of a consultation on the issue this week by the Environment Minister John Griffiths in response to European laws coming into force on January 1 that set minimum standards for the treatment of animals at the time of their killing.

In the Senedd, Mrs Evans said: “Making CCTV mandatory in all slaughterhouses would send a clear message to consumers that Wales is serious about delivering excellence at every step of the process.

“The new EC [European Council] regulation will require the compulsory monitoring of loss of consciousness when an animal is stunned or ritually slaughtered.

“Mandatory CCTV would be the cheapest, most practical, and most effective way of complying with the regulation.”

She said that an average system would cost around £2,000 to implement, according to figures from the Food Standards Agency.

And she also called for a “fit and proper person” test for those working in abattoirs.

“I would like to see all licensed slaughter staff re-tested and re-trained annually to ensure the maintenance of competence, and to enable them to stay on top of developments over time,” she said.

“The EU regulations will require the appointment of an animal welfare officer in slaughterhouses, and certificates of competence for all staff.

“It is vital that all this is backed up by requirements on retesting and retraining.”

Mr Griffiths said he would provide a policy update once consultations responses had been analysed.

The debate also followed on from a fly-on-the-wall investigation from animal rights group Animal Aid which found serious breaches of animal welfare laws in eight out of nine English slaughterhouses between January 2009 and April 2011. The RSPCA has also previously called for CCTV to be installed in every slaughterhouse.

Launching the consultation – which will run until November 5 – Mr Griffiths said Wales already had a strong record in animal welfare.

He added: “We also want to look at the welfare of the very small percentage of animals that are currently slaughtered in Wales without stunning and whether we can improve welfare in these instances.

“These are emotive issues for a range of groups so I would urge anyone with an interest to feed into the consultation.”

NFU Cymru president Ed Bailey said that responsibility for animal welfare ultimately rested with the abattoir operators, staff and inspecting bodies and that UK abattoirs were “highly regulated and professional businesses” subject to strict regulations and controls.

He said: “If abattoir owners wish to voluntarily ensure and enhance animal welfare then CCTV could have a role to play in some facilities, but many abattoirs, particularly larger ones will already have CCTV.

“If CCTV were introduced then we believe that this should be on a ‘level playing field’ basis. It would be wrong if Welsh or UK farmers were forced to pick up the costs of measures such as CCTV if abattoirs in the rest Europe or the rest of the world were not subject to the same requirements.

“CCTV will cost in terms of hardware and also in terms of having a person responsible for watching the CCTV footage.

 Read More