The RSPCA has welcomed growing support for CCTV in slaughterhouses, including new recommendations from the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC), which advises government on the welfare of farmed animals.

In an official “opinion” document, published on February 3, FAWC recommended the installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in approved slaughterhouses. 

The recommendations come in the wake of secret footage by animal rights group Animal Aid was recently released that allegedly showed abuse at a slaughterhouse in Yorkshire.

The group also launched an e-petition calling for mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses, which has reached the target of 100,000 signatures needed to gain consideration for Parliamentary debate.

Julia Wrathall, head of the RSPCA’s farm animal science department, welcomed the support.

Dr Wrathall said: “The RSPCA submitted information that contributed to the report and we welcome the clear message of support for CCTV, although it is disappointing it stopped short of urging the introduction into legislation of mandatory CCTV in abattoirs.”  

“We firmly believe CCTV in slaughterhouses can be a valuable tool to help improve animal welfare. This is why it is already a requirement in RSPCA farm animal welfare standards, meaning all abattoirs that are members of the society’s Freedom Food scheme must install and use CCTV cameras throughout their premises.”  

FAWC’s recommendations include:  

  • All slaughterhouses should install CCTV in all areas where live animals are kept and where animals are stunned and killed.
  • All assurance schemes, food retailers and others in the food chain should require CCTV be installed in the slaughterhouses associated with them.
  • CCTV footage should be retained by the slaughterhouse for a period of at least three months and be made available to authorised officers.

View the FAWC recommendations in full

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