Northumbrian MPs Ronnie Campbell and Ian Lavery are backing a campaign calling for CCTV cameras to be made compulsory inside UK abattoirs to safeguard the welfare of animals being slaughtered.
The campaign was launched by Animal Aid after five years of investigating animal welfare breaches inside British slaughterhouses.
The organisation installed fly-on-the-wall cameras inside 10 slaughterhouses, revealing that nine of them were breaking animal welfare laws.
Mr Campbell, Blyth Valley’s MP since 1987, and Mr Lavery, Wansbeck’s since 2010, have signed a Parliamentary early-day motion calling for CCTV cameras to be made mandatory to monitor working practices inside UK abattoirs.
Animal Aid slaughter consultant Kate Fowler said: “We are very grateful for the support of Mr Campbell and Mr Lavery in helping us stop slaughterhouse abuse.”
“There is no excuse for the savagery we filmed inside British slaughterhouses, and yet it went on right under the noses of vets stationed there to monitor welfare.
“Clearly, this system, which costs taxpayers millions of pounds, is failing to protect animals.
“We need a more robust regulatory system, and CCTV, if properly monitored, can play an important part in deterring and detecting welfare breaches.”
The footage taken by Animal Aid revealed abattoir workers kicking, punching and beating animals in the head and face, burning them with cigarettes, using the electrical stunning tongs to inflict painful electric shocks on them and failing to stun animals properly.
A 2014 YouGov poll commissioned by Animal Aid revealed that 76 per cent of adults support CCTV being made mandatory in all slaughterhouses and monitored independently.
The motion, tabled by Easington’s Grahame Morris, has been signed by more than 120 MPs, including 11 from the north east.
Among them are North Tyneside’s Mary Glindon, Jarrow’s Stephen Hepburn and Emma Lewell-Buck, of South Shields.
For further details of the campaign, visit www.slaughterhousecctv.org.uk