Months after reports exposed heinous animal abuse in France’s meat industry, the National Assembly has voted to make video cameras mandatory in the country’s almost 1,000 slaughterhouses. The bill that passed would give them until 2018 to install CCTV everywhere live animals are handled, including during the transport process and while in their stables. To placate producers upset about around-the-clock monitoring, Politico says the bill only allows government officials and veterinarians to view the footage, and allows it to be kept on file for just one month.
It suggests rolling out a trial phase first, but also proposes creating a national Committee on the Ethics of Slaughterhouses and imposing harsher penalties for abusers. The move aims to address an especially embarrassing past year for meat produced in France. Activists published a series of undercover tapes showing abattoirs (some of them certified organic) not just killing animals without stunning them first, but also committing grossly inhumane practices like chucking lambs into walls, bashing horses’ skulls in with pistols, even decapitating one poor cow.
The bill moves next to France’s Senate, where Reuters says a vote could happen as early as February. Animal-rights groups are pleased to see the measure is getting some legs, but of course also remind their meat-loving citizens another way of fixing this problem is just to consume less meat.