RSPCA Cymru has welcomed calls from Members of the Senedd for the introduction of mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses in Wales.

The calls come following an investigation by the Welsh Parliament’s Petitions Committee – which highlighted how a majority of slaughterhouses in Wales do not currently have closed-circuit television systems in place.

Committee members called on the Welsh Government to make the “installation and maintenance of CCTV monitoring systems mandatory in all slaughterhouses in Wales”.

RSPCA Cymru has long called for CCTV to be mandatory in Wales’ abattoirs, and 82 per cent of the public have backed the charity’s call for action in Wales.

CCTV in slaughterhouses is already a mandatory requirement of the RSPCA farm animal welfare standards, which are used by the RSPCA Assured higher welfare certification scheme.

The Welsh Government has supported the use of CCTV in slaughterhouses, and previously announced £1.1 million of grant aid for small and medium size slaughterhouses to – among other things – support the “installation and upgrading of CCTV monitoring systems” – though it is not currently a mandatory requirement.

Chris O’Brien, RSPCA public affairs and media manager, said: “This hugely welcome report from the Welsh Parliament / Senedd Cymru Petitions Committee adds weight to our calls for compulsory CCTV in Wales’ slaughterhouses.

“Sadly, a majority of abattoirs in Wales – some 58 per cent of them – do not currently have CCTV in place. However, we know these systems provide people with vital reassurances about the quality of life of farm animals at the time of slaughter, act as a deterrent to animal cruelty, and can both protect staff and act as a vital training tool.

“We now hope the Welsh Government will build on the nation’s proud record for farm animal welfare by making CCTV compulsory in abattoirs – helping to protect and safeguard the welfare of animals at the time of slaughter right across the country.”

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