How CCTV is beneficial to slaughterhouses - Case Study

Sometimes, we see the odd news report or viral video discussing the inadequate behaviour carried out in slaughterhouses here in the UK. We often think that we’re one of the most moderate countries in the world, however, there seems to be a lot that goes on behind closed doors, such as animal abuse. Here at 2020 Vision, we take a look at the government’s stance on CCTV in slaughterhouses, how security surveillance can be beneficial and how it could have prevented previous crimes.

The government’s position

Usually, when it comes to drastic changes that can impact a certain industry, discussions can go on for a long time and sometimes, the problems that are addressed are never resolved. However, when it comes to the idea of installing CCTV in slaughterhouses around England, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs — Michael Gove — and the government seem to be in favour of it.

From plans revealed in August, every slaughterhouse operating in England will be fitted with compulsory CCTV surveillance systems. This is non-negotiable and will lead to better protection of the welfare of animals and reduce the amount of animal cruelty that goes on. The Welsh government is said to be considering adopting this ruling into its country, whilst Scotland has still not commented — although, this has been heavily criticised by the Dowager Duchess of Hamilton who says that it should be compulsory. Northern Ireland has not shown its stance on the issue, but with the successful ruling in England which is set to be fully implemented in spring 2018, the rest are likely to follow.

When 4,000 people were asked about the new ruling — 99% of the respondents said that they were happy with the plans. Choosing the right security system is vital, but CCTV has been implemented in England, the Food Standards Agency will have unprecedented access to footage from the previous 90 days. Michael Gove stated that this new ruling would make Britain a “global leader on animal welfare”.

He added: “The reaction to this consultation highlights the strength of feeling among the public that all animals should be treated with the utmost respect at all stages of life, and be subject to the highest possible welfare standards.”

The benefits

The installation of CCTV systems in slaughterhouses will help reassure the British public, as well as the supermarkets that use slaughterhouses for products. Many businesses have backed the idea and are insisting that those they are contracted with implement it in their operations.

In this case, both the Food Standards Agency and the Official Veterinarians will be able to monitor slaughterhouses to make sure they meet the correct standards in production. These two organisations will be able to approve or disapprove slaughterhouses. If they are found breaching the law, they can have their licences revoked pending a criminal investigation — all through the power of CCTV.

However, it’s often a misconception that CCTV can only record footage, and sometimes, not of the best quality — but this couldn’t be further from the truth. If a horrendous event was to occur where someone abused an animal, using a combination of CCTV and video analytics, facial recognition can be carried out and detect who carried out the attack. The beauty behind facial recognition is that you can categorise certain people, whether this is making them a VIP or blacklisting them entirely.

Further on video analytics, there is an option for ‘hooded camera mode’ which can detect when a camera view has been manipulated, whether this is by spraying the lens with paint or covering the camera entirely with a bag. Once a camera has been compromised, it can then alert the correct people to go and solve the situation.

The harsh reality of slaughterhouses

Over the years, there have been a lot of investigations into the slaughter methods in slaughterhouses. Between the years of 2009 and 2016, Animal Aid secretly filmed in 11 different slaughterhouses across the UK that were chosen at random. Only one slaughterhouse obeyed British laws and treated the animals in the correct manner — 11 of these did not and showed horrific actions such as staff members stubbing out cigarettes in animal faces, as well as stamping on and punching them for their own entertainment.

But animals aren’t the only victims of crime surrounding slaughterhouses, in fact, slaughterhouse workers will also benefit from the CCTV that is being put in place. Both operators and employees could become potential targets for animal rights activist groups when they’re on duty, as protests often occur near the perimeter of these locations. Operators will have the opportunity to monitor and prioritise the welfare of animals to the highest ethical standard, whilst being able to manage the safety and anonymity of employees to make sure that they are obeying the regulations and are working to the correct standards.

For this reason, it’s vital that slaughterhouses in the UK install CCTV with cloud CCTV storage. England are taking the first step towards making it a reality. It’s important that, as a slaughterhouse business, you take the correct steps to ensure the safety of both your employees and the animals that you have in your care. This can only be achieved by teaming up with 2020 Vision to come up with a plan of installing the correct systems that will help you meet the new regulations.

Don’t leave it too late – contact 2020 Vision today to see which equipment will best fit your needs.

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Peter Houlis - 2020 Vision Systems Limited

Peter Houlis

2020 Vision Systems Limited
28 Northumberland Square
North Shields
Tyne & Wear
NE30 1PW
United Kingdom

Tel. +44. 0191 296 2662

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