Nearly five years after mandatory CCTV was introduced in all abattoirs in England, a government review has concluded it improves conditions for animals.
The review found that while mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses is not a panacea for preventing poor animal welfare standards, “there is evidence to suggest it has improved animal welfare by allowing for increased identification of incidences and enforcement.”
The review went on to say that this provides an opportunity to highlight inappropriate behaviours, instigate further training or ensure that those who are unfit for their role can be, where necessary, removed from it. “Similarly, while the potency of the deterrent effect of mandatory CCTV may decrease over time, there has been a clear reduction in welfare non-compliance incidents since the introduction of the CCTV Regulations.”
The review comes weeks after the Welsh Government announced it would soon be following suit and mandating CCTV. The review was welcomed by the RSPCA, which argued for the use of CCTV for years before it was introduced in England.
Dr Marc Cooper, head of farm animals at the RSPCA, said: “The RSPCA pioneered the use of CCTV in slaughterhouses and the legal requirements introduced were based on the RSPCA’s farm animal welfare standards. We are, therefore, pleased to see that the evidence confirms that the installation of CCTV helps improve farm animal welfare at this critical time – vindicating this tireless campaign and its impact on animals.”
The organisation is now campaigning for further changes in abattoirs specific to the poultry industry, including the prohibition of electrical waterbath stunning for poultry and prohibiting slaughter without pre-stunning.