ITS Products have released a CCTV camera specifically designed for the slaughterhouse sector and food processing.
Following publication of undercover footage of alleged malpractice at a halal slaughterhouse in Yorkshire, there have been widespread calls for compulsory CCTV recording of activity at abattoirs. But monitoring of slaughterhouses and abattoirs should be part of general logistical good practice. The ITS Products unit has been developed specifically for this kind of environment and meets industry-specific challenges that often make standard cameras unsuitable.
The industry-leading Canon network dome is fitted flush into a corner of a room and its wide-angle lens delivers as complete a view as possible with minimal blind spot immediately below the camera. The corner mounting frame is 304-grade stainless steel making it resistant to possible corrosion from the frequent wash-downs associated with the meat sector.
The unit is sealed to IP65 standard and its resistance to accidental impact is rated at IK10. The screen is unbreakable scratchproof plastic and the flush fitting means the camera is unlikely to snag with other equipment being used in premises where space may be at a premium. Fitting the camera requires the installer to use only six screws and single tool so minimsing the risk of components being mislaid and falling into food packing areas. This is a persistent concern for engineers working where foodstuffs are processed.
What is highly attractive to end-users and installers alike is that they can use this unique adaptor to mount a familiar camera into an unfamiliar environment. So often, specialised cameras have to be used and this causes downstream integration difficulties and obvious service and maintenance issues.
The recent incident in the UK has had major ramifications and attracted international media interest as well as high levels of concern from those who oversee the industry. A worker at the halal abattoir in question has been sacked and three others suspended after footage allegedly showed them breaking strict rules on slaughtering sheep and subjecting the animals to extreme and gratuitous cruelty.
ITS Products appreciates that the corners of rooms are rarely an exact 90 degrees. The mounting frame has a degree of flex and the installation can be optimised by use of mastic. The whole fitting process takes a matter of minutes with minimal disruption to working practices. The screen covering the camera lens is a smooth surface that lies almost flush with the ceiling, a feature that means detritus can be washed away easily and does not accumulate around inaccessible components.
Just days after the accusations made about the slaughterhouse in Yorkshire, an abattoir in Staffordshire came under criticism when covert footage was released in which sheep and pigs appear to be kicked and struck repeatedly. The footage even appeared on YouTube and investigations by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the RSPCA are ongoing. It is likely that the sector will be overseen more closely in future and CCTV cameras will be mandatory.
Chris Newman of ITS Products said: “Abattoirs are required by law to stun animals prior to slaughter in order to minimise suffering. There are exemptions for producers serving the kosher and halal markets but in turn these traditions require other specific practices which must be adhered to and can be documented by our CCTV cameras.”
He continued: “At the ethical level, the camera not only gives slaughterhouse proprietors the knowledge that animals are being killed at their facilities with the minimum amount of suffering but it is also a means of enforcing good practice by employees and avoiding the kind of pending prosecutions resulting from the recent alleged incidents in Yorkshire and Staffordshire. Development of this new camera illustrates the market-led nature of R&D activity at ITS Products and its determination to serve even demanding niche vertical sectors with units that are not just fit for purpose but optimised for specific usage.”
Designed and manufactured by ITS Products in the UK, the new abattoir and slaughterhouse mini camera is exclusively available through Canon Europe distribution channels.