DEFRA Refuses to Take Action on Animal Welfare Video

Today’s scourge through Twitter updates brought up an unpleasant video, broadcast on Sky News, and secretly recorded by Animal Aid.  As part of their campaign to get CCTVs legally instated in slaughterhouses, Animal Aid had managed to get CCTV cameras into a slaughterhouse in Essex and captured footage of slaughterhouse workers beating, burning and brutalising pigs.  The video started with slaughterhouse workers stubbing out cigarette butts on the faces of pigs waiting to be slaughtered, and moved on to images of injured pigs being dragged by their ears, hit with wooden clubs, and being ineffectively, painfully stunned before slaughter.

Unfortunately, animal welfare issues like this seem to still be fairly common place.  What is more unusual about today’s reports is the fact that DEFRA have refused to take legal proceeding over the matter due to the illegal nature of the video.  This is odd because lots of cases of animal cruelty are based on footage that has secretly been filmed, often on private land.  In the Sky News report, an interviewee links the decision to change of government and staff changes within DEFRA.

Although it is very disappointing that DEFRA have refused to take further action against Cheale Meats, Animal Aid has still succeeded in proving its point.  The ‘closed door’ approach that slaughterhouses try to maintain stands in the way of animal welfare justice.  Animal Aid want the government to make CCTV in slaughterhouses a legal necessity, in the hope that this would cut cases of animal cruelty, and mean that, if animal cruelty was taking place, it could be quickly identified and brought before the courts.  So far, Animal Aid have managed to persuade all of the UK’s major supermarkets to deal solely with slaughterhouses fit with independently monitored CCTV.  It’s a movement that the Food Association, RSPCA, Compassion in World Farming and The Soil Association are all backing.  It’s great work done so far, but as the footage recovered from Cheale Meats shows, the battle won’t be over until the government legally enforce CCTV in all slaughterhouses across the UK.  Badly bruised meat often ends up in pet food, or soups.  It’s horrible to think that these pigs, who suffered so much at the end of their lives, might now be sitting on a dining room table, or be being wolfed down as dog food.

Sign Animal Aid’s online petition for the use of CCTV in slaughterhouses.

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About EcoTheme

Welcome to EcoTheme. I’m from the the county of Dorset in the South West of England. Having studied environmental ethics and written a Masters dissertation on the ethics of sustainable living I now work with Campaign against Climate Change and Greenpeace. I started EcoTheme to present discussion and views on things going on in the environmental world. It should become clear through my posts that I believe our environmental problems to be the most pressing matters of the day – not simply because I place value in our natural world but also because it is the platform on which all life depends.
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