Monday, 29 November 2010

CCTV in Abattoirs ~ Supermarket Responses (so far).

Further to this post about the welfare of animals in slaughterhouses, I am happy to say that I have heard back from the following supermarkets; Sainsburys, Asda and Waitrose.  Here is what they had to say...


"Thanks for contacting us about animal welfare in slaughterhouses.  I can certainly appreciate your concerns, given the footage filmed by Animal Aid.

I’d like to assure you that animal welfare is of paramount importance to us and we have a longstanding commitment to ensure all animals used in our products are treated humanely and with the utmost respect.   We have been recognised by Compassion in World Farming who recently awarded us Best Volume Retailer, providing the best animal welfare amongst the major UK supermarkets.

We work very closely with our suppliers to ensure they meet our high standards and use existing and new technology to support our commitments.

A number of our abattoirs already have CCTV cameras in place to enable us to monitor the standards at slaughter.  We are working with the remaining abattoirs to get CCTV installed as soon as possible.

I hope that my email assures you of our commitment to animal welfare and that you’ll be able to shop with us in confidence.

Kind regards

Lorna Clarkson
Customer Manager"

I'm happy with this response and will check early next year to see how things are going with fitting the CCTV in remaining abattoirs.

"Thank you for your e-mail.

Outstanding animal welfare is a priority for Waitrose.  All of our slaughter facilities are managed to the very highest standards and are approved and regularly audited by the Humane Slaughter Association.  We also work to recommendations laid down by both the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming (CiWF).

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are leaders in this field and have consistently been recognised for our approach having recently been named as ‘Most Compassionate Supermarket’ by CiWF.

I hope that this information is of assistance.


Susan Sharman
Waitrose Customer Sales and Support"

Not so happy with this response as it completely avoids the questions and fails to mention CCTV at all, I will respond to this asking again about CCTV.

"Thanks for contacting us with your enquiry.

At the moment we do not require our suppliers to have CCTV in their abattoirs.

However, we are reviewing our position on this and a new policy is being drawn up to request that our abattoirs do have CCTV monitoring them. This policy will come in to effect in 2011.

The footage from the CCTV's will be used as a management tool to assist in the training of colleagues and to ensure that animal welfare practices are followed as required.

We believe that we do have very good animal welfare practices and monitor there implementation when we audit our suppliers.

Every member of our meat, poultry and fish technical team are animal, poultry or fish welfare officers who have been trained by the vets at Bristol University.

I hope this helps and if I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards

Claire Brant
ASDA Service Team"  

I am pleased with this response from Asda but do worry WHEN in 2011 the policy will come into affect so will contact them again along with Sainsburys to check on how things stand early next year.

Marks and Spencer

"Thank you for your email about the UK slaughterhouses and the welfare of animals at the time of slaughter.

We are committed to ensuring all our livestock suppliers maintain very high standards of animal welfare. Our codes of practice cover the welfare of animals at every stage - on the farm, during transport, and at the time of slaughter.

We liaise closely with the RSPCA about animal welfare. Following their call for action earlier this year, we are re-issuing our codes of practice for livestock production to ensure they reflect best animal welfare practice.

We will require all our slaughterhouses to install CCTV. We will also stipulate that footage is independently monitored to ensure our welfare requirements are met and maintained at the time of slaughter. This will be in line with the requirements of the RSPCA Welfare Standards.

I hope this explains our position and demonstrates our commitment to high standards of animal welfare.

Kind Regards

Mike Thompson"

Another good response, so will be adding Marks and Spencer to the list to contact early next year.

Now to let RSPCA know what the Supermarkets said here.  Noteably absent from responses so far is Tesco, Lidl and Aldi.

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