what goes on behind farm industry doors?
By the time produce arrives on our plates, it looks good enough to eat. For too long the livestock industry has kept the details behind closed doors. However, whilst ˜out of sight, out of mind' may be a realistic response to eating livestock produce, it should not justify to the industry that the public are not concerned about the welfare of animals and whether or not standards are upheld.
The common phrase Where does our food come from? should now be coupled with How does our food come to us?
A big part of this is how animals are treated. With more intensive forms of farming being used to supply demands, there is increasing concern for the unnatural conditions livestock are managed in. The public are aware of inhumane treatments and for this reason we have animal welfare standards and national codes of practice for the livestock industry.
Nevertheless, the public have no idea how these are upheld. All around the world there is increasing pressure to increase transparency within the livestock industry.
It has just been announced in the United Kingdom that popular supermarket, Morrisons, is promising to install CCTV cameras in all its abattoirs to be completely transparent to the public
CCTV in all Morrisons abattoirs
Morrisons is the first supermarket to promise installation of CCTV cameras in all its abattoirs to reassure the public of good welfare practice at slaughter. Compassion in World Farming fully supports Morrisons for pledging to install CCTV cameras in all its abattoirs by the end of December 2010.
We encourage other supermarkets to follow Morrisons' lead and set up CCTV cameras in their abattoirs to improve the conditions for farm animals.
Mia Fernyhough, Compassion' s UK Food Business Manager said "Compassion in World Farming is delighted that Morrisons will install CCTV in its abattoirs to ensure that welfare rules at slaughter are properly enforced. Morrisons won Most Improved Supermarket in our 2010 Supermarket Awards and this latest move demonstrates further its commitment to farm animal welfare." continue reading
Following suit, prominent animal scientist and animal behaviour consultant to the livestock industry in the United States, Temple Grandin, recently encouraged the industry that "We need to be opening up the door and showing the things that we do." and that 'good stockmanship pays' . At the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting, Grandin encouraged farmers to fill the information gap and use video streaming as a tool to gives the public an idea of day to day activities in livestock management.
HSI would like to see the same push in Australia. We are lucky enough so have national animal welfare standards supported by regulation and codes of practice, and even more stringent voluntary animal welfare standards. However, the industry must be open about all aspects of productions - from slaughter in abattoirs and large intensive animal production systems to free range farming.