Cruelty Watch welcomes moves to introduce CCTV to all Scottish abattoirs

Scottish Government have launched a consultation on compulsory CCTV in abattoirs. The consultation opened yesterday (28 March 2018) and will run until 20 June 2018, collecting views from stakeholders to refine Government policy.

Cruelty Watch supports the proposals to introduce CCTV in abattoirs covering all areas where live animals are kept, as well as full and unrestricted 24/7 access to CCTV footage for Official Veterinarians. Similar legislation will come into effect in May 2018 across England.

Cruelty Watch particularly welcomes this move to introduce CCTV following an investigative report in 2017 that highlighted that thousands of farm animals have suffered in more than 700 serious breaches of welfare rules in Scotland in less than two years.

Cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens have been found injured, ­emaciated, diseased or dead on arrival at abattoirs.

Numerous animals were slaughtered while heavily ­pregnant or had to be repeatedly stunned before they were killed.

There was “cannibalism” among chickens, “unnecessary pain” endured by cattle and “massive bruising” on sheep, according to inspection reports by government watchdog Food Standards Scotland (FSS) obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. In other cases there were “signs of suffering”, “evident stress” and “extensive maggot infestation”.

One slaughterhouse worker was said to have been “intimidating and vicious” with a sheep. A driver was seen kicking a pig and another dragging a pig by its tail.

A spokesperson for Cruelty Watch said: “Many abattoirs in Scotland already have CCTV, although there are no rules governing how the footage is used or kept. We would also want to see unrestricted access to CCTV footage for Official Veterinarians (OVs).

This consultation is vital to ensuring that animal welfare laws are upheld and enforced. It would allow Official Veterinarians to independently assess and report breaches of animal welfare. In due course, Cruelty Watch will submit a response to the Scottish Government. We look forward to seeing the outcome of the consultation later this year.”

*The investigative report can be found here.

Cruelty Watch and Dean Farm Trust Rescue 19 Chickens from A40 Lorry Crash

Cruelty Watch and Dean Farm Trust rescued 19 chickens from the A40 lorry crash near Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, Wales.

Scores of chickens were killed and injured when a lorry crashed into a river in Carmarthenshire in the early hours of the 25th April 2017. Early reports suggested up to 12,000 chickens were on board.

After hearing about the shocking aftermath, Cruelty Watch assisted by staff from Dean Farm Trust deployed an emergency rescue team to the scene to search the area for any remaining live animals that needed rescuing or veterinary attention.

“Cruelty Watch deployed an emergency rescue team to search the area surrounding the crash for any remaining live animals”, said a spokesperson for Cruelty Watch.

“After hours of extensive searching, we found 19 chickens at the scene. We worked with our sanctuary partners Dean Farm Trust to secure a rescue space. Dean Farm will continue to provide daily care and veterinary attention to allow them to live healthy lives.”

The Trust is appealing for donations to support their work in caring for the chickens.