A report on current welfare measures in Welsh abattoirs, commissioned by the Welsh Government, has concluded that there is “simply not sufficient basis” on which to make CCTV a mandatory requirement in such plants in Wales.
This view has already been criticised by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA) who described the report’s conclusions as “disappointing”.
The report, produced by the Safeguarding Animal Welfare at Slaughter Task and Finish Group, stated that many of the country’s abattoirs are members of various assurance schemes, such as Red Tractor and Freedom Foods, all of whom make additional animal welfare requirements and impose additional audits on abattoirs.
As such, the group said that a mandatory CCTV requirement was not necessary, although it did comment that CCTV is a “useful additional tool” in abattoirs for helping raise standards of animal welfare, particularly where it can be used as a training tool.
BVA Welsh Branch President, Dr Neil Paton, responded by voicing his disappointment at the conclusion, stating that the report group had not taken on board the concerns of vets working in slaughterhouses.
BVA further pointed out that the report details that only eight large abattoirs of the total 26 abattoirs in Wales have CCTV.
“Although the bulk of animals in Wales are slaughtered in these eight abattoirs,” stated the BVA, “lack of CCTV in other abattoirs means 3.4% of poultry are slaughtered without CCTV safeguards, accounting for over two million birds. In addition, 10.5% of sheep, pigs and cattle are slaughtered in abattoirs without CCTV – nearly 385,000 animals.”