As some of you may know, on November 29th there was a parliamentary debate on CCTV in equine slaughterhouses. Unfortunately I was not able to attend, but as I have received emails from constituents asking for my views I would like to share them with you here.
My Labour Party colleagues and I support the mandatory use of CCTV in equine slaughterhouses. It is vital that animals are always handled with consideration and under the most humane conditions possible. Our party has a strong record on animal rights and we must ensure that the Government has the right laws in place to attain and maintain these conditions.
Although I am sure that the majority of people who work in UK slaughterhouses abide by high standards of animal welfare, video evidence acquired by the charity World Horse Welfare shows some appalling mistreatment of animals. It is very distressing to see this behaviour taking place in British slaughterhouses. CCTV is an inexpensive solution to both prevent abuse and ensure justice if such abuse does come to light.
I hope that the Government will listen to these concerns and take action to reassure the public, horse welfare charities and horse owners that the welfare of the animal is paramount throughout the whole slaughterhouse process. I have written to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to pass on my constituents' concerns.
I have now received the below response from Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.