No CCTV but there really is nothing to hide

As an abattoir owner, I am disgusted by FSA chief executive Tim Smith's statement in the MTJ concerning CCTV. On this subject he stated, "where we find resistance, it is from operators with something to hide".

I, as an operator, have nothing to hide. My family have been farming, slaughtering and butchering on our present site since 1915 and rely on our reputation, quality of service and quality of the product we sell. The welfare of the animals slaughtered at our premises is always paramount.

I do not agree with CCTV in abattoirs or indeed in many other situations in life, as I feel it is an infringement of freedom and human rights in this country. Our present abattoir has glass doors on the front of the slaughterhall that adjoins the shop, allowing anybody to view our operation and this has been the case for the last 20 years.

Our new abattoir that is under construction does not have this facility, not because we have anything to hide, but due to its location.

I telephoned Mr Smith this week to ask him to retract the statement he made as he has labelled all operators that resist CCTV whether they be good or bad as being in the category of having something to hide. He refused to do this and instead he appears content to stigmatise those with a particular point of view. I for one disagree with a lot of the regulation forced upon us and will question, and indeed resist, any new regulation.

I consider Mr Smith's statement to be nothing more than a bullying tactic to impose CCTV upon us. How can anyone have confidence in him as chief executive of the FSA?