Australian supermarket chain Coles recently announced that it may soon require its suppliers to install permanent cameras in their animal sheds and slaughterhouses. The pending proposal is designed to ensure customers that suppliers adhere to animal welfare standards.
Jackie Healing, the head of policy and quality for Coles supermarkets, says that Coles would be following the lead of Tesco, the UK supermarket chain that has a similar model. "If you take a model from the UK, for example, you cannot supply Tesco's with lamb unless you've got a camera permanently running in your abattoir," she said during a recent speech, according to ABC Australia.
While consumers might feel better about an extra pair of eyes, farmers certainly aren't embracing the idea, trade publication Pig Progress reports. Australian Farm Institute director Mick Keogh argued that the proposal lacked context and was a "cynical" proposal sought for marketing purposes. Farmers are also calling it an invasion of privacy.
Animal protection groups, on the other hand, support the idea. Australian animal protection group Animals Australia published a statement that said, "Abattoirs and producers who are confident that they can meet community expectations should welcome such an initiative; it would reassure consumers that retailers were taking community concerns about animal welfare seriously.”