Retailers could be drawn into CCTV debate
Published:  23 July, 2010

Retailer pressure is likely to be called upon in the bid to push CCTV into the slaughtering process, according to the boss of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Tim Smith.

Speaking to MTJ, Smith said he would be "quietly" speaking to the retailers on the subject in a bid to up the pressure on slaughterers, following a number of hidden filming exposés by animal rights groups. "I won't be making a huge noise, but I will be quietly talking to retailers about the issue," he said. "I think you can take it as read that retailers, when faced with a reputational catastrophe, will impose a low-cost solution."

He also expressed concern over the ease with which Animal Aid has been gaining access to plants to film. "Animal Aid maintain they are simply walking into the plants and haven't needed to break in," he said. "There might be some subterfuge, but there's no evidence that locks have been fiddled with. I would expect food security to be better than that.

He added that the introduction of CCTV might also offer a solution for deregulation. "The EU Commission is interested because this might offer an opportunity for an element of deregulation part technology and part manpower," he said.