ANIMAL welfare in Spain’s slaughterhouses will be monitored by mandatory video surveillance systems.
The Council of Ministers approved a royal decree on Tuesday establishing the measure.
Large slaughterhouses will have a year to implement the rule once a formal announcement is published in the Official State Gazette.
A two-year period will apply to smaller facilities.
It means that Spain becomes the first EU country to introduce compulsory slaughterhouse video monitoring.
The aim is to minimise any suffering during the unloading, transfer, and stunning of animals.
Cameras will have to be installed in virtually all slaughterhouse areas and recordings kept for access by inspectors.
The Veterinary Collegiate Organisation applauded the initiative and said that ‘it will be a a very useful tool for veterinarians’.
They pointed out that many livestock facilities already had video networks in operation.
The measure was promoted by the Consumer Affairs Ministry who pointed out that it wanted to create a nationwide standard throughout Spain for the health and welfare of animals.
The text of the decree points out that unloading of animals at the slaughterhouse is a ‘particularly stressful stage of transportation’ which requires specific handling to minimise stress and to prevent injuries.
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