A RECENT consultation which would see mandatory CCTV in Welsh slaughterhouses was generally supported by members of the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

Members responding to the consultation hoped that mandatory CCTV would help provide greater consumer confidence in the high animal health and welfare standards used in Welsh livestock production.

FUW deputy head of policy Dr Hazel Wright said:“Whilst members agreed with the presence of mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses, they were clear that the industry must not be forced into bearing the costs of a complex system that is overly bureaucratic, officious and rigid.

"The current supply chain can function to adversely affect primary producers and producers can often become responsible for enduring any additional cost increases which have occurred further up the supply chain.”

Responding to the recent Welsh Government consultation, the FUW further stressed that excessive costs risk adversely penalising smaller and medium sized enterprises.

South Wales Argus: Dr Hazel Wright.

Dr Hazel Wright

Dr Wright added: "Such plants play a key role in terms of the industry as a whole, and supply a range of crucial markets and services, including local domestic and niche markets, through butchers, delicatessens and other outlets; ethnic markets, which have become an essential part of the supply chain, and are largely serviced by medium sized abattoirs, as well as businesses such as hotels and restaurants whose success depends upon being able to source produce from local small and medium plants.

"The market for meat from older cattle, which, since the over 30 month ban came to an end, has played a central role in terms of the economics of the market as a whole and the provision of local services to primary and organic producers which would not otherwise be available and the delivery of local and regional brands, including to local authorities, could also be adversely impacted by excessive costs.

“However, such premises can be geographically widespread and maintaining the viability and sustainability of these businesses is therefore essential,” added Dr Wright.