Full camera surveil­lance in slaugh­ter­houses thanks to Party for the Animals

15 יוני 2022

Better camera surveillance in slaughterhouses can prevent abuse. A proposal to this effect by the Dutch Party for the Animals was recently adopted by the House of Representatives. "Animal-friendly slaughter does not exist, but as long as there are slaughterhouses, we must do everything we can to limit animal suffering as much as possible," said Leonie Vestering, MP of the Party for the Animals and proposer. In other countries, too, the call for transparency, better surveillance and enforcement is getting stronger.

Photo credits: Jo-Anne McArthur / Eyes On Animals / We Animals Media.

Time and again, undercover footage from slaughterhouses in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom shows violations that result in horrific animal suffering. Camera surveillance in slaughterhouses has therefore already been made mandatory in the Netherlands, again on the initiative of the Party for the Animals. Unfortunately, this proved insufficient: the slaughterhouses were allowed to decide where the cameras were hung and left parts of the 'workplace' out of the picture. An undercover investigation by the Dutch organisation Varkens in Nood (Pigs in Peril) showed that slaughterhouse employees deliberately mistreat animals off-screen.

Thanks to the recently adopted proposal of the Party for the Animals, the House of Representatives is now asking the government to ensure that not the slaughterhouses, but the independent organisation that supervises on behalf of the government (the NVWA) can determine where cameras are placed, so that all rooms and corners are visible. The Party for the Animals wants the images to be livestreamed and shared with the independent regulator. Unfortunately, proposals to this effect have not yet received a house majority.

"Every abuse in a slaughterhouse is one too many as the consequences for the animals are truly terrible," says MP Leonie Vestering. "Time and time again, horrific images appear of animals being kicked and beaten, and even of badly injured animals dangling by their hind legs, being drowned in scalding hot water. Camera surveillance alone will not prevent this: the moment the abuse is noticed, it is too late for the animal. So, more is needed: greater surveillance, a reduced slaughter rate and a reduction in the number of animals being slaughtered. Things the Party for the Animals will continue to fight for."

Sister parties worldwide are committed to the same measures in their countries. And the Party for the Animals has been calling for mandatory camera surveillance in all European slaughterhouses in the European Parliament for some time as well.