Body Cameras On Cattle Workers Ruled A Privacy Violation

Chilliwack/ Vancouver  – On Wednesday,  Drew McArthur, privacy commissioner of British Columbia, decided that employers mandating the use of body cameras by employees in factory farms and slaughterhouses is a privacy violation. McArthur’s decision is in direct response to Elite Services, a Lilydale chicken supplier that ordered its workers to wear body cameras after a June 2017 undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals exposed extreme animal abuse by workers at more than a dozen Elite Services facilities, including:

  • Punting and throwing birds

  • Slamming birds against walls and into transport crates

  • Ripping the legs off conscious animals

  • Attempting to rip a bird in half with bare hands

  • Tormenting animals in sexually explicit ways

The FVN story and updates on all the charges against Chilliwack Cattle Sales can be found here.

Mercy For Animals is calling on Commissioner McArthur to allow video recording inside farms and slaughterhouses in order to prevent egregious animal cruelty. Further, Mercy For Animals is urging Elite Services not just to equip workers with body cameras but to live-stream to the Internet and/or to a third-party auditing firm.

Top meat producers, such as Maple Leaf Foods, Tyson Foods, and Perdue Farms, have all committed to remote video monitoring by a third-party auditing firm. Dr. Temple Grandin, professor of animal science and meat industry consultant, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2012, “I’m a big fan of putting in these video systems, but they’ve got to be monitored by auditors outside the plant over the Internet.”

“Animal abuse runs rampant in Canada’s meat, dairy, and egg industries, where animals are confined in barren cages; mutilated without pain relief; violently shackled; shocked; and slit open at the throat while alive and fully conscious,” says Krista Hiddema, vice president of Mercy For Animals in Canada. “Every farm and slaughterhouse in Canada should install video monitoring systems and live-stream the footage to the Internet or a third-party auditing firm to help prevent animal cruelty and increase transparency in food production. Video footage is only as good as the people who monitor it; without third-party checks in place, it will be ineffective.”

 

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