RSPCA Cymru has welcomed measures to ensure CCTV is installed in slaughterhouses in Wales.
The Welsh Government has announced that a £1.1 million Food Business Investment of grant aid will be made available for small and medium size slaughterhouses in Wales.
In a written statement on 22 March, the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, said that the package would cover “welfare friendly infrastructure and facilities” along with the “installation and upgrading of CCTV monitoring systems”.
The statement follows news in February that legislation on mandatory CCTV will be introduced in England from May 2018, with the Cabinet Secretary also stating that she wanted Wales’ slaughterhouses to be “fully prepared” as she continues to “explore opportunities to legislate in the longer term”.
Although the moves are welcome and an important step forward, RSPCA Cymru is continuing its call on the Welsh Government to bring in legislation to ensure CCTV is mandatory.
CCTV in slaughterhouses is a mandatory requirement of the RSPCA farm animal welfare standards, which are used by the RSPCA Assured higher welfare certification scheme.
Claire Lawson, RSPCA assistant director of external relations in Wales, said: “RSPCA Cymru very much welcomes news that funding is being made available for abattoirs in Wales to install CCTV – this is certainly a step in the right direction.
“However, we would like to see legislation introduced to make CCTV in abattoirs mandatory, and will continue to urge the Welsh Government to act in Wales.
“RSPCA Cymru believes that the introduction of CCTV systems will provide the public with evidence relating to the quality of life of farm animals at the time of slaughter, whilst acting as a deterrent to animal cruelty, as well as a safeguarding and training tool for staff.
“Polling has indicated 82 per cent of the public in Wales support the introduction of CCTV, and we believe this would be an important step in the improvement of farm animal welfare in this country.”
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Polling figure from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,001 Welsh adults (aged 18+). Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th – 8th September 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Welsh adults (aged 18+).