The RSPCA has announced that it is calling for all abattoirs to have CCTV installed, as part of its ongoing work to improve the welfare of farm animals at all stages of their lives.

The RSPCA has announced that it is calling for all abattoirs to have CCTV installed, as part of its ongoing work to improve the welfare of farm animals at all stages of their lives.
 
CCTVWith such a large number of animals going through abattoirs every day, the RSPCA is aware of the significant welfare risks involved and believes this is an area that needs even closer scrutiny.
 
John Avizienius, deputy head of RSPCA’s farm animal science department said: “All farmed animals deserve to have a painless and humane end to their lives. This is why we believe this is such an important step forward as CCTV not only acts as a ‘preventative’ measure, but also allows proper evidence to be collected if animal welfare is suspected of being compromised.
 
“We will be consulting with industry to ensure that CCTV becomes mandatory in all RSPCA standards and therefore Freedom Food approved abattoirs; and are calling for all slaughterhouses in the country to follow suit.”
 
Currently around half of the Freedom Food accredited abattoirs already have CCTV installed as it is “strongly recommended” in the RSPCA welfare standards. Freedom Food has already told relevant scheme members that the RSPCA’s species-specific technical standards working groups will be meeting shortly to discuss this proposal, with the aim of providing advice to ensure the new RSPCA requirements are practical, achievable and effective.
 
Joyce D’Silva, director of public affairs for Compassion in World Farming, said: “CIWF is delighted that Freedom Food approved slaughterhouses will now install CCTV and we are sure that this innovation will help to ensure that animal welfare rules will be properly enforced. We hope that CCTV will become compulsory in all EU slaughterhouses as a matter of urgency.”
 
Secret CCTV  footage released by Animal Aid in 2009Following this announcement the Soil Association told the RSPCA that it recognises the potential of CCTV to ensure animal welfare standards are maintained in abattoirs, and added it is now in the early stages of drafting such a change into its organic standards.

The RSPCA announcement comes just five months after national campaigning group Animal Aid released secret footage (pictured) filmed at slaughterhouses in Cornwall, Somerset and Derbyshire, which showed pigs and sheep being kicked, shoved and – in one case – dragged into a stun room packed with frightened animals.

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