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Expose cruelty: let the cameras in

Posted on 24 February 2013 by Cate

Support the Greens bill for mandatory CCTV in abattoirs.

I met this calf on my travels last year. By now he could well have ended up in a NSW abattoir that is not monitored with closed circuit television.

We have all seen the sickening cruelty that takes place behind closed doors in abattoirs. We have seen Australia’s ‘live exports’ suffer in Indonesia and we have seen it in multiple exposés here in Australia.

Animal Liberation and Animals Australia have worked with whistleblowers using undercover cameras to bring routine horrific acts of cruelty to light in several Australian abattoirs.

The RSPCA is currently in court prosecuting one case that took place at an abattoir at Wilberforce, western Sydney in February 2012. In that case, cows were repeatedly bashed over the head with a metal rod and sheep were still alive and thrashing for agonising minutes after their throats were cut. Whistleblowers have to risk their personal safety and employment to secretly record and expose these cruelties.

It shouldn’t be this way. The NSW Food Authority should require mandatory CCTV in all abattoirs and should regularly inspect the footage. That way there are no ‘closed doors’ and consumers will be able to have confidence that animal welfare laws and standards are being complied with at all times – not just when the auditor visits.

Animal welfare organisations have called for this for a long time, several supermarket chains in Europe demand it of their suppliers and, while some meat processing companies have installed CCTV voluntarily, the NSW Government failed to include it in their response to the Wilberforce abattoir exposé last year. The Greens will act to stamp out such cruelty and I have given notice of a bill to make CCTV mandatory in all NSW abattoirs and knackeries.

Please contact my office if you would like a briefing and copy of the draft bill.

Please help me persuade the government to support the legislation by writing to the Primary Industries Minister the Hon Katrina Hodgkinson.

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10 Comments For This Post

  1. Jan O'Leary Says:

    An excellent initiative.

  2. Clare Mann Says:


    Thank you for your leadership in this area. Anything I can do to further the cause, please let me know.

    Best regards.
    Clare Mann

  3. Natasha Says:

    If abattoirs do the right thing and treat animals humanely they needn’t fear being monitored by CCTV cameras. Only abattoirs that are acting illegally and cruelly will demand to stay hidden from the world

  4. Sue Fleming Says:

    Animal Cruelty must stop.
    A nation is judged on how it treats its most vulnerable – this appys to animals too.

  5. Geoff Walker Says:

    Dear Ms Faehrmann,

    may I please have a briefing and copy of the draft bill for mandatory CCTV in abattoirs.

    Thank you, Geoff Walker

  6. Peter Says:

    It’s pathetic and hypocritical when we try to force our standards in other countries but can’t even enforce them in our own.

  7. Hazel Lee Says:

    I believe CCTV should be mandatory in every Abattoirs in Australia, now!

  8. Sarah Avery Says:

    I would also appreciate a copy of the draft bill for mandatory CCTV in abbatoirs.

    I would also like to know how the Greens will stand for the general election this year. I want to support the Greens but I do not want my preferences given to Labour.

    Thank you,

  9. Leif Nielsen Lemke Says:

    As a part-time beef producer I am appalled that my calves should be mistreated. I don’t dare tell my grand-daughters of this cruel practice.

  10. Julie Taylor Says:

    It is essential that every abattoir in Australia have mandatory CCTV provided as a matter of urgency to help prevent animal cruelty.


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