Measures to control animal welfare: Video surveillance systems in slaughterhouses
The Government has approved the new Royal Decree 695/2022, of August 23, which establishes measures to control the welfare of animals in slaughterhouses</ strong> by installing video surveillance systems.
This rule is approved by echoing the fact that animal welfare is a matter of growing public interest that influences the decision-making of the population when it comes to consuming.
Royal Decree 695/2022 takes the Regulation 1099/2009, of the Council, of September 24, 2009, relative to the protection of animals at the time of the slaughter. It is mandatory that slaughterhouses at the time of slaughtering animals adopt the necessary measures to avoid pain and minimize the anguish and suffering of the animals.
At the national level, Law 32/2007 already establishes the basic standards of animal care and welfare, as well as a common regime of infractions and sanctions to guarantee compliance with it
In attention to existing regulations, the Government understands that “within the necessary measures to ensure” animal welfare and regulations on facilities and equipment within slaughterhouses, It is possible to implement a video surveillance system that guarantees respect for animal welfare. In accordance with article 3 of the aforementioned Royal Decree the cameras must cover the facilities in which live animals are found, including unloading areas, driving corridors, and areas where stunning and bleeding are carried out of the animals.
Those responsible for slaughterhouses must guarantee their reproduction, copying or transmission to other devices with the same quality as the original recording.
The implementation of this new control systemdoes not exempt the rest of the controls that the slaughterhouse must guarantee in terms of animal welfare.
Any slaughterhouse, regardless of its size, whether it is fixed or mobile, must guarantee that animal welfare conditions are met. In this way, it is imposed as a control mechanism that all those slaughterhouses that are within Spanish territory must have video surveillance systems. However, small slaughterhouses will have some flexibility to comply with this new measure.
Recordings must be kept and stored for one month from the date of capture.
An official veterinarian will have access to video surveillance systems as an accessory tool that will guarantee compliance with animal welfare standards by the slaughterhouse.
From the perspective of the protection of personal data, the establishment of surveillance systems has the legal protection provided for in article 20.3 of the Workers’ Statute and respects the limits of the Organic Law on Protection of Personal Data and guarantee of digital rights.
It remains pending approval of the regime of infractions and sanctions for non-compliance with the Royal Decree, which, in any case, are independent from hygiene and animal welfare.</ p>
Spain becomes the first country in the European Union with mandatory surveillance systems to control animal welfare. However, the reality is that the vast majority of slaughterhouses are already equipped with this type of video surveillance system.
This Royal Decree is expected to enter into force on August 24, 2023. However, for small slaughterhouses, taking into account the financial outlay it entails, it will enter into force one year later, on August 24, 2024.
Any questions you may have, contact us, we will offer you the advice you need to adapt to the new standard.