The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) acknowledges that there have been calls by some animal rights organisations to mandate CCTV systems be installed in all processing facilities.
AMIC supports the voluntary installation of CCTV as an individual plant management tool to monitor animal welfare practices, but good animal welfare outcomes are sustained via the implementation of well-defined Standard Operating Procedures, undertaken by highly trained staff in our members’ facilities. Such procedures and assurances of staff competency form the foundation of AMIC’s independently audited and widely adopted Industry Animal Welfare Certification System (AAWCS).
The implementation of CCTV will never replace these important competency and procedural principles. Whilst AMIC supports the voluntary installation of CCTV systems as a management tool, it does not support it as a mandatory requirement.
In addition to the lack of evidence that CCTV in processing facilities results in better animal welfare outcomes, AMIC does not support mandatory CCTV due to a wide array of concerns, including privacy, cyber security, potential misrepresentation, misuse of footage in case of a data breach, and added cost imposed on industry and regulators.
Over the last eighteen months, AMIC has engaged in good faith with government and animal welfare groups to develop the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Livestock Processing Establishments – a national standard to consistently regulate animal welfare at processing establishments across all the state and territory jurisdictions.
Industry continues to support this process, which is based on the latest science and global best practice, as the means to achieve animal welfare regulatory reform. It is disappointing to see welfare groups bypassing this process to take advantage of recent media covering trespass breaches by animal rights extremists.
Well designed standards and regulations proactively address the core causes of rare animal welfare incidents.
AMIC and our membership consider animal welfare to be vital in the sustainable operation of processing establishments and we are committed to proper, stringent, and accountable animal welfare practices across the supply chain.