OneKind, Animal Aid, and political activists are petitioning the Scottish Parliament to introduce mandatory CCTV in Scotland’s 35 abattoirs.
The move comes after SNP passed a resolution in support of mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses at their conference in 2016. Since then, there has been little progress, prompting campaigners to raise the issue directly with the Scottish Parliament.
The petition has already gathered over 2,000 signatures, and the campaigners hope to reach 10,000 before it is handed in this autumn.
Kay Hamilton, Dowager Duchess of Hamilton, was one of the SNP activists who secured the resolution in support of mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses last year. She said:
“As a member of 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.”
OneKind Director Harry Huyton 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.”
Animal Aid Director Isobel Hutchinson said:
“Animal Aid’s investigations have consistently shown that slaughterhouse workers often 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, like the rest of the UK, recommends the installation of CCTV as best practice. However, it is on a voluntary basis and not required by legislation. 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 in all French slaughterhouses from 2018. Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium’s Flemish Region are expected to follow suit.
Notes to editor:
- OneKind is a Scottish animal protection charity working to end cruelty to Scotland’s animals.
- The SNP resolution on CCTV in slaughterhouses was adopted as official party policy at the SNP Conference in October 2016. It was proposed by North Berwick Branch, East Lothian Constituency Association, Alyn Smith MEP, George Kerevan MP, and Gail Ross MSP.
- The petition is available to sign alongside further information on the OneKind website
- Animal Aid’s Say Yes to Slaughterhouse CCTV campaign