We must question forced filming

In his comment piece (MTJ, 5 March 2010) regarding calls from the RSPCA and the FSA for compulsory CCTV installation in all abattoirs, Ed Bedington says he finds it worrying that the BMPA is showing signs of resisting such a move.

Let me be crystal clear here; good plant operators have absolutely nothing to hide about their animal welfare practices. And many already use CCTV for training, health and safety and security purposes.

However, it is important that any move to compulsion and greater access is thought through carefully, and that we are all clear about what we are seeking to achieve. What is the scale and nature of the perceived animal welfare risks we are seeking to address, and how? Is compulsory CCTV a proportionate response to these risks? Who would have access to CCTV material and for what purposes? Would it help or hinder public understanding of the meat industry?

The BMPA is not resisting such a move at this stage but it is entitled to ask questions and be consulted on the purposes of and motives behind yet further regulation.