FSA threat to abattoirs who refuse to install CCTV
ABATTOIRS that do not install CCTV cameras could face additional inspection costs, under plans to be discussed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) board on Tuesday.
The FSA board is being asked to endorse a proposal to encourage abattoirs to install CCTV as a tool to help protect animal welfare.
FSA director of operations Andrew Rhodes has recommended the policy in response to undercover filming by animal rights group Animal Aid, which has exposed breaches of animal welfare legislation at a number of UK abattoirs over the past year.
In a paper to be discussed at an FSA board meeting in London on Tuesday, Mr Rhodes writes:
“Breaches of animal welfare legislation will not be tolerated. The FSA is working with industry to ensure operators comply with the legislation, but where operators are unable to demonstrate compliance, the FSA will vigorously enforce the legislation on behalf of Defra.
“The Board is recommended to endorse the actions taken by the Executive in encouraging the installation by Food Business Operators of CCTV in slaughterhouses, and active monitoring of footage, as a tool to help protect animal welfare.”
The paper adds: “If FBOs are unable to prevent breaches of animal welfare legislation and are unwilling to take proactive corrective action, for example voluntary installation of CCTV with active monitoring, or additional training of FBO staff, then FSA will consider putting in additional staff to observe slaughter practices. The FBO
would be charged for such staff until compliance could be satisfactorily demonstrated.”
Animal Aid is campaigning to encourage supermarkets to only buy meat from animals killed in slaughterhouses fitted with CCTV cameras. It is urging its supporters to lobby retailers in a postcard campaign.
“The slaughterhouse owners will listen to the supermarkets, who are their main customers, and the supermarkets will listen to their customers – you,” Animal Aid says on its website,
“CCTV won’t make slaughter and the meat industry OK – far from it – but it will prevent some of the shocking cruelty and illegality that we found at six out of seven randomly chosen slaughterhouses where we filmed undercover.”