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French MPs vote for cameras in abattoirs after cruelty scandal

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A cow in an abattoir in north-west France AFP

French MPs on Thursday voted to install cameras in the country's 263 abattoirs following the leaking of several videos showing cruelty to animals in the nation's slaughterhouses.


MPs voted 28-4 for an amendment to a bill on animal cruelty that will force all abattoirs to film their operations from 1 January 2018.

The measure allows for a trial period to establish how best to install them.

Animal protection officials, workers' representatives and employees designated by the company running the abattoir will have access to the film, which may not be kept for more than a month.

The bill, which contains 65 clauses, will go to the Senate in February and should become law by March when both houses will be suspended for this year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Videos exposed mistreatment

It also proposes the establishment of a national committee on ethics for slaughterhouses and proposes tougher penalties for cruelty to animals.

A parliamentary committee was set up in March after several videos showing gratuitous cruelty in abattoirs were made public.

The Agriculture Ministry ordered a nationwide inspection of establishments.

French slaughterhouses produce 3.45 million tonnes of meat a year, according to the ministry.