Animals destined for food production will receive better treatment thanks to new Spanish legislation, Source: Unsplash

First in EU, Spain requires video cameras in slaughterhouses

First in EU, Spain requires video cameras in slaughterhouses

The aim is to ensure that animals destined for food will get humane and stress-free treatment

The Spanish government passed a decree yesterday, 23 August, obliging the country’s slaughterhouses to install video surveillance on their operations. The administration of Pedro Sanchez said this would make Spain the first EU country to adopt such legislation, once it has been voted through Parliament.

The aim of the law is to ensure the humane treatment of animals that are slaughtered for food. The new measure is seen as an activist win for animal rights groups, such as Equalia, which have been campaigning for years to improve conditions in the rapidly industrializing farm sector of Spain.

"This rule puts Spain at the forefront of Europe in this area and, as well as ensuring the welfare of animals during their passage through abattoirs, it also improves food safety guarantees for consumers," said Consumer Affairs Minister Alberto Garzon, as quoted by Euronews.

Animal welfare gets more attention

With the new decree, Spain will be the first in the EU to require mandatory surveillance systems for the purpose of bettered animal welfare, however, outside of the bloc, this has already been implemented in the UK and Israel.

The rules will require for the cameras to show the areas where the live animals are kept, unloaded and then stunned. For example, in the case of poultry and pigs, the purpose is to verify that no scalding will be performed on animals who might still be showing signs of life.

Recordings in the abattoirs have to be kept for 30 days and presented to inspectors if random checks are performed. The larger slaughterhouses will have one year to install the cameras, and the smaller ones will have two years.

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