Slaughtercams to be Recommended for All UK Slaughterhouses

October 13, 2010

Sometimes advances for animals occur at a glacial pace, other times they happen at lightning speed. Last week’s Animal Aid slaughterhouse investigation has just paid off big time.

Despite opposition from the director of the British Meat Processors Association, the Food Standards Agency is now recommending that all UK slaughterhouses be outfitted with video cameras.

The very first thing every new animal advocate needs to learn is that animal rights is all about establishing precedent—for instance, a step forward by McDonald’s is usually quickly matched or exceeded by Burger King and Wendy’s.

This week’s move is a recommendation rather than a legal requirement, but it’s nevertheless immensely important for a number of reasons. It will put new pressure on governments outside the UK to encourage the installation of cameras in slaughterhouses. And, in the UK, once this recommendation is formally issued, any slaughterhouse that doesn’t install cameras will automatically be seen as second-rate. Doubtless they will become ineligible to sell their meat to a growing number of supermarkets and restaurant chains that have instituted animal welfare standards in their purchasing guidelines.

So what we have is a recommendation with some teeth. And it’s a no-brainer to predict what will happen next. When future videos are released showing cruelty at facilities that have refused to install cams, the public outcry for mandatory cams will be overwhelming.

In summary: the move to require cameras at every slaughterhouse in the world has just received a big push, and gained new legitimacy. We’re moving towards the day when every slaughterhouse will have glass walls, and you know what Paul McCartney has said about that. (Via Hawthorne.) Link.

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