Between 2009 and 2015 Animal Aid secretly filmed inside ten randomly chosen UK slaughterhouses and found nine of them were breaking animal welfare laws. The on-site vets did not see or report any of the breaches. UK slaughterhouses need independently monitored CCTV cameras to deter welfare abuses and to help vets do their job. The supermarkets agree. The public agrees. Animal protection groups agree. And so do more than 170 MPs.
In June 2014, we launched a Number 10 Petition calling for mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses with independent monitoring. This petition closed on March 30th, at which time it had attracted more than 111,000 signatures – enough to trigger a debate in the House of Commons. Since Henry Smith MP had already hosted a debate on the need for CCTV in slaughterhouses, we will wait until after the election for another debate.
In February, the government published a long-awaited report by the Farm Animal Welfare Committee on the need for CCTV in slaughterhouses. It recognises the benefits of CCTV and recommends they are installed in all slaughterhouses.
But this is just half the story. The footage must be monitored by an independent body to ensure that breaches are acted upon appropriately.