Monday, 25 February 2013

Greens launch bill for mandatory CCTV in abattoirs


Cate Faehrmann MLC
Greens MP and animal welfare spokesperson Cate Faehrmann has today
announced a Greens bill for mandatory CCTV surveillance in NSW
abattoirs to guarantee that incidents of unacceptable cruelty can be
prevented or prosecuted in the future.

The Food Amendment (Recording of Abattoir Operations) Bill 2013 would
require the owner of an abattoir or knackery in NSW to make video and
audio recordings of the movement, holding and slaughter of animals to
ensure the humane handling of the animals before and during the
slaughter process.

"The need for reform has stemmed from the secret recording of gross
cruelty and abuse of animals by whistleblowers working in a Hawkesbury
Valley abattoir last year," said Ms Faehrmann.

"Only with mandatory CCTV in all abattoirs and regular checks by the
authorities, can we guarantee there will be no 'closed doors' behind
which cruelty can occur. That means consumers will be able to have
much more confidence that animal welfare laws and standards are
complied with at all times – not just when the auditor visits.

"If the Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson was taking
animal welfare seriously, she would support the Greens bill. We have
all seen the sickening cruelty that can take place behind closed doors
in abattoirs. It doesn't just happen in Indonesia, it has been exposed
here in Australia time and time again.

"This is not a radical idea. Several supermarket chains in Europe
demand it of their suppliers and some meat processing companies have
installed CCTV voluntarily.

"While there will be some initial costs to business, the costs will be
far out weighed by the welfare benefits and will restore industry
reputation and consumer confidence.

"We should not have to rely on whistle blowers coming forward and
risking their personal safety and employment to secretly record and
expose cruelty. This bill will make it the responsibility of abattoir
owners to ensure the animals in their care are treated as humanely as
possible," said Ms Faehrmann.

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