Petition calls for compulsory CCTV in slaughterhouses

Campaigners are calling for cameras in slaughterhouses to be required by law.
Campaigners are calling for cameras in slaughterhouses to be required by law.

Animal charities and political activists are petitioning the Scottish Parliament to introduce mandatory CCTV in Scotland’s 35 abattoirs.

The move comes after SNP members passed a resolution in support of the call at their conference in 2016.

The petition has already gathered over 2000 signatures and the campaigners hope to reach 10,000 before it is handed in this autumn.

The Dowager Duchess of Hamilton was one of those who secured the resolution at the conference.

She said: “As a member of the SNP I have advised the party to wake up to the fact that cruelty in slaughterhouses must stop.

“Taking bold action and implementing party policy on mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses would be hugely popular with the Scottish people, who expect the Scottish Government to stand up for animals.”

Harry Huyton, director of the charity OneKind, said: “We’re helping bring this petition to Parliament because it’s now clear that the voluntary approach is simply not working.

“It’s not enough just to have a few cameras covering only parts of the slaughterhouse.

“A mandatory requirement would mean CCTV throughout all slaughterhouses that can be accessed by independent monitors, providing a vital safeguard against cruelty.”

Isobel Hutchinson, director of Animal Aid, also said that the charity’s own investigations have “consistently shown” that slaughterhouse workers abuse animals when they think no one is watching.

“Independently-monitored CCTV is a practical, proportionate measure that will detect and deter such cruelties, and provide evidence for prosecutions should it be needed. The Scottish Government must now enact the policy its party members voted for.”

The Scottish Government recommends the installation of CCTV as best practice on a voluntary basis but critics of the current arrangement have said that the voluntary code also misses out some crucial details including how clear the footage is, where cameras are placed and who has the right to see the footage.

Earlier this year, France became the first country in Europe to announce CCTV will be compulsory and Italy, The Netherlands and Belgium’s Flemish Region are expected to follow.