A welcome move for CCTV in French slaughterhouses

AGRI MEP Alyn Smith has today (Friday) welcomed the French Parliament’s decision to push for video surveillance in slaughterhouses. 

The proposed law, if passed, would result in authorities installing video cameras in all areas of slaughterhouses where live animals are handled, including transport and stunning. The footage would be viewable only by veterinarians or animal welfare inspectors. 

Alyn, Scotland’s sole voice on the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, said:

“This is a hugely positive step for animal welfare in Europe. 

“None of us are under any illusions about how meat gets from the field to our plate, but it’s crucial that we minimise pain and suffering of animals. 

 “I back mandatory CCTV in Scottish slaughterhouses and support local slaughterhouses for precisely that reason, and I’m glad we’re looking at this option in Scotland. 

“Now we’ve seen France take action, I sincerely hope we’ll see the rest of Europe follow suit.”

The SNP passed a policy motion at its October 2016 conference to back compulsory CCTV in slaughterhouses. The motion was sponsored by Alyn, George Kerevan MP and Gail Ross MSP.  

The text of the motion is as follows:

Conference is concerned about the lack of transparency of animal welfare standards in abattoirs in Scotland due to the lack of CCTV provision.

Conference notes that the Scottish Government recommends the installation of CCTV as best practice, however this is a voluntary scheme and currently only 67 per cent of slaughterhouses have CCTV in the killing area, 59% in the stunning area and 64 per cent in the lairage and unloading area.

Conference further notes that in England and Wales, legislation is moving through parliament which sets out where cameras are sited, insists they are well maintained, details for how long the footage must be kept, sets out who gets to see it and when, and has proportionate sanctions for those who refuse to comply.

Conference therefore believes that similar legislation should be considered in Scotland to ensure we have the highest animal welfare standards possible.