MSPs have come out in support of a petition calling for mandatory CCTV to be introduced in all areas of all of Scotland’s 38 slaughterhouses.
Alison Johnston, MSP for Scottish Greens hosted a briefing in the Scottish Parliament today on the proposal for mandatory CCTV and how it can be implemented to ensure Scotland leads the UK in protecting the welfare of farm animals.
So far over 10,000 people have signed a petition from OneKind, Animal Aid and political activists which calls for the introduction of CCTV in all areas of all slaughterhouses in Scotland.
Last month, the Scottish Government announced a consultation on CCTV in slaughterhouses as part of the Programme for Government for 2017-18.
The Scottish Government, like the rest of the UK, currently recommends the installation of CCTV as best practice; however, it is on a voluntary basis and not required by legalisation. The voluntary code also missed out some crucial details including how clear the footage is, where the cameras are place and who has the right to see the footage.
OneKind Director Harry Huyton said:
“We believe it’s essential that mandatory CCTV is introduced to all parts of all slaughterhouses in Scotland. It would be a cheap, simple and effective safeguard, helping to protect animals and workers. We’re delighted to see so many MSPs from across the political spectrum supporting this campaign, and I hope many more members of the public will sign our petition before we hand it into the Minister later this year.”
Green MSP Alison Johnstone said:
“A third of the animal welfare incidents in slaughterhouses were caused by poor conditions during transport to abattoirs, with many animals having suffered broken bones, bruising and other injuries. Vets can’t be present around the clock and it’s obvious that appalling cruelty isn’t going to occur when it’s known that CCTV is in operation.
“It’s essential that CCTV cameras are situated at sites of stunning and killing and not only in packing areas. Scotland prides itself on high quality produce and I doubt consumers would want to support businesses where animals have not been treated with care and respect.”