Make CCTV Mandatory in All Live Animal Transport Vehicles
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The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published its statistics for September 2017, reporting the slaughter of 87.5 million poultry, 225,000 cattle, 258,700 sheep and 893,000 pigs. During their lifetime, many of these animals will have endured long journeys by road (or sea), moving them between farms, to vets, markets and abattoirs, or exported abroad. The FSA records report 2,224 incidents of welfare breaches during a 6-month period, with reports of animals trapped between crates, some with broken bones, many enduring extreme temperatures, and even reports of death before reaching their arrival destination.
On 11th August 2017, the Environment Secretary Michael Gove unveiled plans to introduce compulsory CCTV systems in abattoirs throughout the UK. Whilst welcomed by many animal welfare organisations and activists, we would like to see this protection extended to include transportation.
We, the Reading Animal Welfare Activists (RAWA), are proposing the introduction of a CCTV system which would record the activities within vehicles for all journeys (including small businesses) involving the movement of live animals for economic purposes. This system would operate throughout the entire duration of a journey, including the loading and offloading of livestock, with the hope that it would provide increased protection for the animals involved. It is expected that ongoing surveillance would prevent negligence and deter individuals from mistreating animals. Archived footage would be kept, and could be used as evidence should suspicion of a welfare breach arise.
The government will not implement this without public outcry or support, so we are calling for your support on this matter. We believe that CCTV would complement existing arrangements implemented by DEFRA, and more importantly, increase protection for our animals.
As Jeremy Bentham once said: “The question is not can they reason, nor can they talk, but can they suffer?”.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
The RAWA team
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