September 18th 2018


Dear Petitions Committee,


Thank you for your continued interest in the campaign for CCTV in Welsh slaughterhouses.


Since we were last in touch, Animal Aid has placed fly-on-the-wall cameras inside another (English) slaughterhouse – PJ Hayman in Devon. This is a small, low-throughput abattoir which was found to have considerable welfare problems, including:


·         failure to secure the heads of cows in the stun box, which increases the risk of the captive bolt missing its target and the animals needing to be shot more than once

·         a worker hitting a cow with a pipe and trapping the head of another in a doorway to try and prevent her from entering the box

·         workers checking for signs of consciousness only when the vet is present


We have reported these issues and handed over our footage to the Food Standards Agency (FSA). At this time, we understand that the FSA are investigating with a view to a potential prosecution.


These problems came to light only as a result of Animal Aid’s cameras, which are – to all intents and purposes – independently monitored CCTV cameras. This is further proof of their value in driving up standards and driving out cruelty.


That the Minister in her most recent letter to the Committee is encouraging small and medium-sized slaughterhouses to install cameras is most welcome. Over the years, we have been assured by regulators that welfare is generally better in small slaughterhouses but evidence obtained by Animal Aid’s fifteen undercover investigations does not bear this out. And while we thank the Minister for her actions to promote voluntary uptake for CCTV, we should remind her that the voluntary system did not work in England, which is why Defra finally acted to make cameras mandatory.


And finally, there is an inherent contradiction in the Minister’s letter. She wrote that: ‘Abattoirs that don’t apply for grant funding will continue to be monitored closely through the controls already in place.’ Our investigations have revealed that without independently monitored cameras, close monitoring of behaviours and processes is simply not possible.


Animal Aid will continue to press for mandatory cameras in all Welsh slaughterhouses, with independent monitoring of the footage.


Kind regards,

Kate Fowler