The recent cases in the media relating to cruelty in slaughterhouses, has brought this subject back to the forefront having been debated quite heavily in the past even after the RSPCA introduced the requirement for installation of CCTV in abattoirs from 2011. Needless to say it seems this has been ineffective.
The recent cases, brought to the attention of the mainstream media by an animal welfare group, documented extreme cases of unnecessary cruelty and neglect in the abattoirs. This was intentional cruelty inflicted by workers that was caught on camera by the animal welfare group. Clearly this is completely unacceptable and has once again spawned the debate of whether CCTV could prevent such atrocities from happening in other abattoirs around the UK.
The Yorkshire slaughterhouse, where this took place, already had CCTV so immediately many resolve to the fact that monitoring is ineffective. Surely a more obvious diagnosis would be that in this case the 'CCTV Installation' was ineffective. Perhaps having to fewer cameras, poorly located and or maintained cameras, or ones that weren't even monitored. One suspects that having one blurry poorly located, poorly monitored camera may indeed satisfy the requirements of the RSPCA Freedom Foods standard.
A well thought out CCTV system, coupled with a rigorous animal cruelty law, would surely put off even the most twisted miscreant from committing a crime. It's probable, the workers in the Yorkshire abattoir were aware that the CCTV system in place was woefully inadequate and hence made no effort in concealing their crimes.
A well designed, implemented and monitored system need not be expensive and would make up a tiny part of their annual operating costs. It stands to reason that such systems should be absolutely mandatory in any large scale abattoir 'providing' the system is actually fit for purpose and not just installed so the operators of the plant can tick a box on a form.