SNP adopts policy of mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses

SNP adopts policy of mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses

 

 

On Thursday 13th October 2016 the SNP party conference voted to support mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses as policy.

The motion, co-proposed by Scotland for Animals Patron the Dowager Duchess of Hamilton, indicates that the Scottish Government position of opposition to mandatory CCTV is becoming increasingly untenable.

Kay Hamilton, Dowager Duchess of Hamilton “We have had our resolution passed to make CCTV mandatory but we cannot stop there. We must have have it put into legislation”

John Patrick, SfA Co-Convenor “We congratulate all involved in the proposal of this motion and the members who supported it.”

 

“Scotland for Animals has led the campaign for mandatory, independently monitored slaughterhouse CCTV in Scotland in the face of both industry and political resistance. A recent Freedom Of Information request by our charity showed an alarming level of breaches in abattoirs with what appears to be little or no sanction. This is unacceptable.”

 

 

“The last consultation on slaughter legislation showed overwhelming support for mandatory CCTV from respondents. We call on the Scottish Government to listen to not only their party’s membership but also to the people of Scotland and move to enact real protections for animals at the time of killing.”

Statement on Scottish Government animal welfare announcements

Statement on Scottish Government animal welfare announcements

Scotland for Animals welcomes the Scottish Government announcement yesterday that some areas of welfare provision are to be reviewed.

 

 

We also welcome the inclusion of a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, however we are disappointed that this will have a very limited protective impact due to it’s scope.

 

 

We are further concerned that there is no mention of improvements regarding legislation concerning the farming and slaughter of animals, which by it’s nature and the sheer number of animals involved, presents arguably the largest welfare issue.

 

 

We are particularly surprised that given the huge amount of public support for mandatory, independently monitored CCTV in abattoirs and an end to unstunned slaughter these measures have been ignored.

 

 

Not least due to SfA’s campaign for proper enforcement and tougher sentencing with regards to animal cruelty we are heartened that the Scottish Government has at long last pledged to review sentencing.

 

 

In light of previous betrayals we hope that this is not yet another round of soft measures and empty promises. There is history of government championing relatively easy wins to gain public approval without the risk of taking on the meat industry or investing hard work in creating a proper legal framework for ending everyday cruelty.

 

 

We will be holding Ministers to account on all of these claims and pressing for the inclusion of meaningful, far reaching changes which are at present not on the table.

The big top’s forgotten victims

Photographed by a Scotland for Animals member at Zippos, Glasgow Green yesterday. Cats in compartments in a trailer.

The big felines are away but the small ones are taking their place. In a campaigning environment when tough battles are too much hard work some animals are more equal than others.

When you hear the welfare groups and politicians smugly announcing that they’ve won on circuses remember this picture.

John

SfA statement on the banning of wild animals in circuses

Scotland for Animals welcomes indications from the Scottish Government that it is about to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

The inclusion of wild animals in any legislation should this be enacted is positive, however the number of non-domesticated animals used in circuses in the UK is comparatively minuscule.

While one wild animal in a circus is one too many, the large number of domesticated animals now being used for entertainment in these shows will continue to be exploited. An example of this can be seen in a circus currently touring Scotland with a “family” of performing cats.

Proposals also do not appear to include static circuses, which would create a huge legal loophole. Nor do they appear to include a ban on any circuses operating in Scotland from owning animals, which could potentially lead to animals still being permitted to be transported with these circuses as long as they were not shown in Scottish performances.

When the potential ineffectiveness of this legislation is viewed in correspondence to claims from government that this is a significant leap forward, we fear that this is another case of Ministers taking the path of least resistance for maximum positive PR.

The enthusiasm for this ban contrasts sharply with the indifference and often hostility shown by the same officials to calls for the protection of animals at time of slaughter, harsher penalties for cruelty to ‘companion animals’, or an end to the use of animals in experiments.

We would appeal to MSPs to consider these problems and tighten any legislation to include all animals. Any moves for legislative change must be part of a broader framework of implementing a comprehensive legal overhaul of our system of animal protection or they will fail.

 

John Patrick. Co-Convenor

Aiysha Ullah. Co-Convenor

Richard Lochhead resigns

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, has resigned. He held the ministerial post which includes responsibility for animal welfare since 2007.

Mr Lochhead’s reign was a hard one for animals not least as a result of his department’s rabid opposition to mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses and inaction on unstunned slaughter.

We hope that his successor will disregard questionable, often spurious advice from some Civil Servants and financial interests and give animals protection appropriate for a civilised society.

We understand however that one of the reasons cited for his stepping down is his wife’s recent diagnosis with breast cancer. Despite our differences over the years our thoughts are with him and his family and we wish her a speedy recovery.

J

CCTV: Urgent call for action

The election is over and and we have new faces in parliament. SfA look forward to working with everyone who has an interest in making our country a world leader in animal welfare.

In an interesting development Scottish Green MSPs have found themselves in a position that could potentially hold the balance of power at Holyrood. As the Greens have secured votes by placing themselves as the pro-animal welfare party this is an opportunity for them to step up and push through measures to improve legislation.

It’s a chance not only for citizens to hold a party and it’s elected members to account but to bring about real change.

If you’re resident in Scotland please contact the Greens Co-Convenor and MSP Patrick Harvie and ask for a firm commitment to drastically improve the welfare of the millions of animals killed every year in Scotland’s abattoirs.

Contact: Patrick.Harvie.msp@scottish.parliament.uk 

Sample text:

Dear Mr Harvie,

I am writing to you in your capacity as Scottish Green Party Co-Convenor. (if you live in the Greater Glasgow area remove this and insert I am writing to you in your capacity as MSP for Glasgow region)

I note that it is being widely reported that due to the Scottish National Party now operating a minority government that Scottish Green MSPs, including yourself, have been involved in negotiations with Ministers with a view to influencing policy in return for Green support.

The Scottish Green Party has arguably more than any other in Scotland captured votes motivated by it’s positions on animal welfare. As your party and it’s MSPs appear now to be in a position to implement real change I ask that you please commit to the insistence, as part of any agreement with government, that legislation for the introduction of mandatory, independently monitored CCTV in slaughterhouses be introduced in Scotland.

Rather than a system of voluntary installation and management favoured by some Scottish animal organisations the above is necessary to ensure proper adherence and enforcement. The flaws of self-regulation and optional involvement with regards to CCTV can be seen in recent exposure of appalling cruelty at abattoirs where voluntary CCTV is already in place.

Further evidence that legislation is required can be seen by last weeks reports that abattoirs are refusing to hand over footage to enforcement bodies.

I trust that you will be aware of details surrounding this issue however I have been informed that the charity Scotland for Animals who lead the campaign for abattoir CCTV in Scotland can provide consultation on request.

I look forward to your reply.

http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5323fef14402c8a6293efe8c3&id=306594a74c

Codes will never take the place of real legislation

There appears to be the usual hand-wringing over an announcement that the UK govt. is to abolish animal welfare codes in England.

Let’s be clear on this, these codes are just guidance. You can get away with the absolute bare minimum that slaughter and welfare legislation require codes or not.

In fact you can get away with far less than the legal minimum as we’ve seen on numerous occasions so what use are codes of practice?

As it’s obligatory for staff involved in slaughter and animal ‘husbandry’ to be aware of these codes it’s claimed that these can be used as a prosecutorial tool should the law be broken. Again as we see with depressing regularity extreme cruelty hardly even reaches a courtroom.

Support for codes or gentlemen’s agreements is at times used as a fudge by groups and individuals who are either too cowardly, too corrupt or usually both to support real changes in law. This position is notably deployed to avoid supporting the introduction of mandatory CCTV in abattoirs.

These will never be a substitute for solid legislation and proper enforcement. Let’s throw our weight behind fighting for that instead.

John

Election bulletin 2016

ELECTION BULLETIN. ANIMALS NEED YOUR HELP NOW.

There’s a campaign active at the moment involving some of the more establishment- friendly groups appealing for candidates to sign a pledge to work for improvements for animals if elected.
This alleged vow contains a list of vague, non-specific ‘promises’. Ideal for unscrupulous politicians of all stripes to steal your vote while committing to nothing.
Some of the organisations involved have a history of covering the backs of MSPs and Ministers while they throw Scotland’s animals onto the fire. It comes as no surprise that they would facilitate a PR stunt for a political class responsible for inadequate legal protections and to whom some in the movement have become too close for comfort.
There are some good, committed names in there too sadly. We’re disappointed that they’ve allowed themselves to have been pulled into this caper.
This will be a big election. We can shape the future for animals in Scotland but this will need more than empty theatrics.

We all deserve better than that, human and non-human.

We know there are decent politicians in our nation and there’ll be more on the way in. Let’s show them that thousands of SfA supporters, their friends and their families are right behind them.
Please contact candidates in your area and ask them to support Scotland for Animals’ 5 points:

1) Mandatory, independently monitored CCTV in slaughterhouses

2) Amendment of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act to allow heavier penalties for cruelty

3) A public inquiry into the efficacy of the use of animals in research

4) Clear labelling of meat from animals not stunned prior to slaughter

5) A ban on the use of all animals in circuses

This would be a good start.

If you would like to help with our 2016 election campaign or want us to send our election leaflet and poster get in touch. Also available to download here:

 

We’ll be here to provide free consultation for any candidates.

Let’s lead the way

John Patrick

Co-Convenor

http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=5323fef14402c8a6293efe8c3&id=c2c002c869&e=[UNIQID]

With friends like these, animals don’t need enemies

I was talking to a young muslim guy at one of our events recently about animal welfare. He told me how disgusted he was at the treatment of animals he witnessed when visiting relatives in Pakistan, I won’t go into what he told me.

During the course of the conversation we ended up on the inevitable subject. To stun or not to stun.

This was a decent guy, we agreed on everything until this point. Then it looked as if we were going to fall out.

We debated back and forward for a good half hour until I pulled the scientific data out and showed this to him. He was confused, he claimed that imams at Glasgow mosque had repeatedly assured worshippers that not stunning was the most humane way forward and produced compelling (but ultimately bogus) ‘evidence’ exposing the evils of the stun.

The guy told me he felt used. Causing animal suffering was unislamic he said. The guy had been cheated out of his right to apply his deeply felt belief that animals should be treated with as much compassion and care as possible.

This incident is typical of the misinformation and self-serving hypocrisy surrounding one of the most important welfare issues of our time.

last Monday MPs debated a motion to outlaw unstunned slaughter at the UK parliament. This was prompted by a petition launched by the British Veterinary Association and the RSPCA which allegedly called for it’s end.

Scotland for Animals made the decision to ask our supporters not to sign. I believed at the time that this was a sham and a publicity stunt. I still do.

The motion was undermined by the BVA/ RSPCA’s own claims, based on highly dubious foundations, that over 80% of animals slaughtered for halal meat are stunned. They scuppered their own petition and I believe they scuppered this deliberately as they don’t actually support a ban.

The usual suspects were wheeled out screeching about ‘community relations’ and ‘racism’. Diane Abbott MP at least had the honesty to admit she wasn’t there to discuss facts but how calls for a ban were offending her constituents. Animal welfare seems to be the only issue where evidence is ignored and everything rests on the ‘sensitivities’ of those benefitting from suffering.

To be honest I’m sick of hearing about ‘sensitivities’. Grow up.

I’m also angry when hearing self-appointed ‘community leaders’ and vote grabbing politicians whine about how offended they are and branding anybody with the audacity to stand up for the right thing as a racist or a bigot.

Sadly animal welfare organisations have joined them in slandering decent people as you can see here. To protect their lucrative careers they would rather sneer and smear than stand by their guns. They’re all in it together.

What’s just as important in fighting for the rights of animals is fighting any attempt to turn the people who want this against each other. We aren’t atheists, muslims, jews, christians, black or white, we’re members of one community who have the fibre to want an end to suffering and abuse.

Don’t let either side divide us.

Beware the new animal champions

You may have seen a story in Scottish papers this morning regarding the Scottish Environment Minister Aileen McLeod’s alleged ”concern” that the fox hunt ‘ban’ in Scotland may be being flouted.

Nonsense. You can still technically hunt foxes in Scotland quite legally if you play the game which most hunts do.

I believe the Minister will be well aware of this and the many holes in the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 because if she isn’t she shouldn’t be in the job.

The same Minister for the Environment who appears to have discovered her moral outrage recently gushed over the Scottish Gamekeepers Association at the Young Gamekeeper of the Year Awards effectively thanking them for writing Scottish Government policy.

The hunting and shooting lobby were praised “…..for all the long term support which you have provided to Scottish Government in various areas of policy, development and implementation and making sure we are implementing best practices of conservation and wildlife and wildlife management.…”.

The Scottish Government’s apparent repositioning on the ethical high ground is more to do with the vote in England next week where Scottish SNP MPs will be put on the spot of whether to vote against a repeal on the hunting ban there or abstain. It know’s there’s overwhelming public disapproval of fox hunting and wants to make political capital from this.

After years of inaction on this shambles of a law in Scotland suddenly Ministers here are loudly spinning themselves as the new guardians of animal’s rights. Between this and their smoke and mirrors animals in circuses stance you’re talking a propaganda exercise worthy of 80’s Romania.

If you’re an SNP member ask why the hierarchy are cherry-picking issues which are easy to fudge but great for PR while working hard to block attempts to protect animals at slaughter, washing their hands of animals abused and killed in research and a pile of other scandals.

Many SfA supporters are also supporters and members of the Scottish National Party. They tell us that they’re disappointed with party officials in government who are paying lip service to animal welfare while allowing the abuse industry to run rampage in our country.

With a grassroots push you could truly position yourselves as a real party for animals human and non-human (this goes for all the parties). It would be a shame if the career men and women at the top are allowed to take that away from you.

Politicians need to learn you can’t ride 2 bikes with only one bum. Pick a side.

J