Secret filming exposes bad practices
Phil Stocker - 14 May 2010
Transparency, openness, and raising public awareness of how our food is produced: these are all things I fully support and they are implicit within the principles of organic food and farming. So it’s difficult to oppose the recent video clips released by Animal Aid of abattoir malpractices, even though the approach of secret filming may be unethical to some.
Animal Aid is a charity that supports vegetarianism and their latest campaign is focused on exposing poor animal welfare in abattoirs. Whether or not you like their approach or their intentions, some of the practices they have uncovered in abattoirs are totally unacceptable – and ultimately risk damaging the entire livestock farming community. For every time the media covers a story showing animals suffering unnecessarily, or not being treated with proper respect, more people will choose not to eat meat – it’s as simple as that.
We all know that when you work with animals things don’t always go according to plan. And animals in unusual surrounding such as abattoirs can present even higher risks. But providing good equipment and handling facilities, and ensuring that staff are adequately trained and supervised to take proper care, show humanity, and are professional and skilled in their work must become the norm – otherwise the abattoir sector will do a disservice to the entire livestock farming sector.
It is fair to say that abattoir operators and workers are not properly valued, rewarded, or treated adequately by society as a whole. Yet the work they do is absolutely essential to our food and farming industry and, when done properly (as it usually is), the job requires skill, intelligence, professionalism and humanity.
Abattoir operators must take responsibility and do everything they can to ensure there is nothing going on in their plants that would not only contravene regulations and official guidance, but also offend the public. Our livestock industry depends on it.
22 November 2011 23:12
The Blog does not even mentiion that the abbatoir was Soil Association approved, nor if what has happened to that approved status.
22 November 2011 23:09
So what is the Soil Assocition doing about it? This is pretty poor that the only reference I found to this on the SA website is this small blog. I also have not seen it mentioned in Living Earth.
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