In Crawley we have an MP who has conviction and who makes a difference. On the 3rd of February 2015, Crawley MP Henry Smith put forward an Adjournment debate in the House of Commons calling for the mandatory introduction of CCTV in slaughterhouses. This followed the release of secret recordings that showed shocking and appalling mistreatment of animals in a slaughterhouse.
the following at the time. “CCTV in slaughterhouses provides welfare oversight
and helps prevent abuse; something, from the appalling scenes witnessed, is
clearly now needed. Most supermarkets have already taken decisive action. All
the major chains now insist that their slaughterhouse suppliers have CCTV
installed. I am pleased to have support of over 170 MPs, and that 80,000 people
have signed a petition on the Government website. Personally I've been
vegetarian for over a quarter-of-a-century because of animal welfare and food
sustainability reasons, but I believe the vast majority of those who eat meat
also want to know that their food has been produced without cruelty."
with that and took the view that while voluntary introduction at many
slaughterhouses was welcome, only the mandatory introduction can truly ensure
the safeguards needed at every slaughterhouse. Henry’s efforts paid off when this
subsequently became part of the Conservative manifesto in this year’s general
week, the Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced new plans to make CCTV
mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England and it looks like the Welsh
government is to follow suit. These rules will be phased in over the next year
and Food Standards Agency vets will be able to ask to see footage of all areas
where livestock are held. Any slaughterhouses found to be failing welfare
standards could face a criminal investigation or lose staff licences.
While we do
have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, and we should
be rightly proud of the way in which the UK has led the way in the protection
of animals, Henry Smith recognised that on this issue, there was more to be
done and successfully called for positive change.