The Dowager Duchess of Hamilton is to lead a delegation of animal rights activists to the Scottish Parliament demanding Scotland’s slaughterhouses have “access all areas” CCTV cameras which are independently monitored.
Kay Hamilton, who was married to Angus, the 15th Duke of Hamilton, premier peer of Scotland who died in 2010, is spearheading a campaign with groups such as OneKind to demand the Scottish Government introduce stringent new legislation.
Campaigners who collected almost 10,000 signatures of support will go to the Scottish Parliament on 25 October and meet MSPs.
Last month the Scottish Government announced in its Programme for Government 2017-2018 that it would consult on compulsory CCTV in Scotland’s 35 abattoirs.
However, the dowager Duchess said the “devil is in the detail”.
“We will put it to the parliament we want mandatory CCTV but I want it to go further. I want the CCTV to be independently monitored and this could be done very well by our own SSPCA, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. CCTV also to be on at all times and the cameras carefully positioned and to be of a quality suitable to be viewed by a Scottish Court.
“It appears to me the only people who think voluntary CCTV sufficient are those representing the meat industry.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, said CCTV footage interpretation was problematic.
“No matter how good the CCTV image may be, it can never be compared with real time observation by a vet.
“In addition, there are questions concerning workers’ rights, especially as staff in other industries are not subjected to CCTV surveillance.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We have committed in our Programme for Government to consult on the introduction of compulsory video recording of slaughter at abattoirs to aid enforcement of welfare requirements by abattoir management and Food Standards Scotland.
“An estimated 95 per cent of animals are slaughtered in plants where CCTV has been installed voluntarily.”