South Tyneside’s MPs have given their backing to a move which aims to make CCTV in slaughterhouses mandatory.
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck and Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn are among 100 to have signed an early day motion calling for independently-monitored systems installed.
Animal Aid’s campaign for mandatory CCTV began in 2009 when the group first placed fly-on-the-wall cameras inside UK slaughterhouses.
It says during the past six years, hidden cameras have revealed that nine of the 10 randomly chosen slaughterhouses were breaking animal welfare laws.
Incidents included animals being kicked, slapped and stamped on, picked up by their fleeces, legs and ears, and livestock being improperly stunned and coming around again, or suffering painful and sadistic electrocution instead of being stunned.
In March 2012, as a result of Animal Aid’s footage, two men were jailed for beating and burning pigs with cigarettes.
Currently, taxpayers are charged millions of pounds every year for a welfare system that is failing animals.Kate Fowler
In addition to the support of MPs and half the Welsh Assembly, Animal Aid says it has the backing of the public, through a YouGov poll and a Number 10 petition, and it has the backing of the union representing meat hygiene inspectors and slaughterhouse vets, Unison; vets and animal protection groups such as the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming.
Animal Aid’s slaughter consultant, Kate Fowler said: “There is no excuse for the savagery we filmed inside slaughterhouses, and yet it went on right under the noses of vets who are stationed there to monitor welfare.
“Currently, taxpayers are charged millions of pounds every year for a welfare system that is failing animals.Clearly, things must change.
“We need a more robust system, and CCTV – if independently monitored – can play an important part in deterring and detecting welfare breaches.
“We are very grateful for the support of these compassionate MPs, who can see that action must be taken to hold the industry properly to account.”