*Now please don't get me wrong I don't advocate animal cruelty or the actions of a minority.
This last week has seen a spate of recordings being made public from the wrong doings of some individuals. These instances have been appropriately investigated and those responsible punished accordingly. The statement that has come out that really perplexes me came last week from Animal Liberation Group: Animals Australia, which called for closed circuit CCTV cameras to be installed in all Sale Yard and Meat Processing Facilities in Australia.
This point I find curious, if these installations were to install CCTV cameras then who would be the independent advisor that would analyse the content of these films and report any actions that warrant reporting? This person would have to be objective and non-biased. So you would assume that the operators of these facilities would not be able to, and an organisation like animals Australia would not be appropriate either (taking into consideration this group has its own agenda's and actively promotes veganism amongst its members). This task would have to fall to a department within the Government and the likelihood of this happening is low, owing to the amount of restructuring occurring.
The other point I find increasingly interesting is the point brought up during the Country Hour segment (ABC Qld) most livestock saleyard facilities operate around once a week (some more, but not a large number), these facilities also occupy a large area (many hectares in some cases) to install CCTV cameras and monitor them across large areas and instances where they are used one is just not viable.
Other processing facilities work as a private entity and therefore have procedures in place to monitor the movements of employees and visitors through Sign In & Out, visitor identification and secure access areas.
More and more recently these actions are being reported by the general public through the use of mobile phone technology.
"public are using phones and cameras to film the treatment of animals at cattle sales" Source: ABC Country HourPhones these days are equipped with a multitude of options allowing them to capture video and images and allows this footage to be sent to other third party users or uploaded to other servers rapidly. Clearly it is hard to ban these devices from facilities (though some environments prohibit their usage) and it is not illegal to film in a public area (again private environments are subject to differing rules). Restricting the usage of cameras and other recording devices whilst difficult to do would also be viewed as if producers had something to hide and this does not bode well with the presentation of our image within the market as this makes us look secretive and have something to hide.
Again its only a small minority that are giving cause for defamatory action against the industry, so its important to ensure that the standards of welfare are maintained across the board. It only takes one person doing the wrong things and for a member of the public to record these actions, leading to the industry being damaged again. This is all too easy in this day and age where you have people who may not be animal rights activists but are just looking for their five minutes of fame on TV.
My question to you is:
- Just how transparent is transparent?
- Are we being transparent enough?
- What are ways we can improve or changes we need to make?
Smart Phones: http://public.cenriqueortiz.com/images/feature-smart-phone.png
Security Cameras: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_qLAIskTQXUc/TDh2TkbhwOI/AAAAAAAAApo/f6uSdtLYjGY/s1600/surveillance-cameras.jpg
ABC Screen Capture: http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201112/s3383429.htm