I support the mandatory use of CCTV monitoring in all slaughterhouses. It is an inexpensive solution to help prevent abuse and ensure justice if such abuse does come to light. It is vital that animals are always handled considerately and under the most humane conditions possible.
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of slaughterhouses that have CCTV for animal welfare reasons. However, the latest figures from the Food Standards Agency suggest that uptake has plateaued and over 50 per cent of red meat slaughterhouses and 30 per cent of white meat slaughterhouses may still be operating without CCTV for animal welfare purposes. The government has said that it is exploring ways to encourage take up in abattoirs still without any form of CCTV but believes it is not necessary to legislate, though it will keep the issue under review.
I recognise and respect religious beliefs and freedoms and know that religious communities are concerned with animal welfare and regulations which govern animals slaughtered for religious purposes require oversight in licensed slaughterhouses.
All abattoirs should take steps to ensure staff abide by animal welfare laws, while the government must also ensure that there are adequate inspections and veterinary services in slaughterhouses.