From early 2018 new legislation comes into effect for abattoirs in the UK requiring CCTV to be installed in all areas, with the recordings kept for at least 90 days. The footage will be accessible to Official Veterinarians and will help abattoirs refute any allegations of cruelty or poor hygiene. The move has been somewhat controversial, with opponents focusing on the potential invasion of privacy for the workers (along the same lines as installing CCTV in nursing and residential homes). Much of the industry has reacted positively, however, and in fact a large proportion of UK abattoirs already have CCTV installed.
Although details of the exact type and certification standards have not been released yet, abattoir owners would do well to opt for the highest standards and ensure that any system they choose will be installed by an NSI approved supplier. P&R Alarms are certified to the NACOSS/NSI Gold standard, and we only install systems that have been tried and tested and are of the best quality possible.
A colour CCTV system with a high-quality image output will probably be required, as grainy black and white images can often be hard to study and sometimes do not capture the whole picture. More than one camera will be required to ensure coverage of the whole premises, with at least one camera in the lairage area, one on the killing floor and one on the dressing line. Each abattoir will be different, as poultry slaughterhouses are much smaller than those specialising in cattle, buffalo and horses. Larger facilities will need several CCTV cameras installed, at various points, to ensure full coverage of every working area within the building, as well as outside where animals are brought in.
P&R Alarms have many years of experience in installing and providing monitoring services for businesses requiring CCTV and thanks to this depth of knowledge and experience, we can advise on the most efficient places to locate cameras to ensure full coverage. It is expected that the regulations will state a minimum number of cameras, or a minimum level of coverage, but abattoirs installing a completely new system should ensure that every area is covered. If regulations change later on then the business will be covered. Additionally, if regulations change to provide centralised access to footage, then having an NSI approved and fully monitored system in place from the start, means not having to pay out additional funds further down the line as laws change.
If you already have CCTV in your abattoir, it is imperative that you check whether your system meets the requirements that will be issued in the new year. We don’t know exactly what will be required at this stage, but it is worth having your CCTV systems reviewed by an NSI approved expert company, so that you are fully aware of the level of coverage and image quality you have at present. We can also advise on upgrades to your system, or better locations for the cameras you already have that will provide a larger area of coverage.
P&R Alarms cover the Worcestershire West Midlands, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire areas, so if your abattoir business is based in one of these areas, then we are the first port of call when investigating CCTV systems for your business. Working with an NSI approved supplier like us, means you can relax in the knowledge that your CCTV system will be top of the line, properly installed and that you have a system that will meet any requirements to be set out by the government. There is a six-month transition period in which abattoirs can get their CCTV systems up to date, and if you need to take action don’t leave it to the last minute, call us today.