Government Sets Out Plans for Mandatory CCTV in Slaughterhouses
World Horse Welfare today welcomes news that the Government is opening consultation with a view to introducing mandatory CCTV throughout all areas where live animals are present in every slaughterhouse in England.
In October 2016, World Horse Welfare launched a campaign to call for the mandatory use of CCTV in all UK equine slaughterhouses following a survey of over 900 horse owners which found almost three quarters of those asked would not have confidence that horse welfare would be protected throughout the slaughter process.
The research also showed that whilst 90% of horse owners asked would not use a slaughterhouse to end their horse’s life, nearly half of them would consider it an acceptable option if measures were in place such as CCTV and over 40% agreed the costs of euthanasia are so high that the slaughterhouse must remain an option.
Our petition received overwhelming support, with over 17,000 people signing the call for mandatory CCTV in the UK’s equine slaughterhouses and more than 1,000 letters sent to MPs urging them to take part in a Westminster Hall debate on the issue which was assured thanks to Liz Saville Roberts MP.
Commenting on today’s Government announcement, World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, said:
“We welcome news of the Government’s commitment to fulfilling their manifesto pledge of introducing mandatory CCTV throughout all areas where live animals are present in every slaughterhouse in England.
"We believe it is important that the slaughterhouse remains an option for owners who may be unable to afford the sometimes prohibitive costs associated with other methods of ending a horse’s life."
“Whilst horses account for a small proportion of the animals slaughtered in England (around 3,300 in 2016), we believe it is important that the slaughterhouse remains an option for owners who may be unable to afford the sometimes prohibitive costs associated with other methods of ending a horse’s life. The slaughterhouse will only remain a viable option if owners have confidence that welfare will be safeguarded throughout the process and this is where mandatory CCTV (accessible and checked by the relevant authorities) plays a vital role.
“Giving a horse a good, humane death is the ultimate act of responsible ownership."
“Giving a horse a good, humane death is the ultimate act of responsible ownership and whilst the slaughterhouse may not be the preferred end of life choice for most horse owners, the consequences of leaving a horse to deteriorate present a much more inhumane alternative.
“In addition, mandatory CCTV recording could also provide a basis for training slaughterhouse staff, further improving their competence and the process to ensure horse welfare is considered throughout.
"This proposal sets out an important commitment from the Government."
“Overall, this proposal sets out an important commitment from the Government and is testament to the tireless campaigning of so many animal welfare organisations, including World Horse Welfare, and our supporters.”
Thank you to everyone who supported our CCTV campaign by signing our petition, writing to your MP or sharing it with your networks of friends, family and colleagues.