Animals in slaughterhouses better monitored by innovative camera surveillance

Date: 25-01-2021

A unique group of organisations has co-created an innovative camera surveillance system to better monitor how animals are handled in slaughterhouses

Boxtel, 25 January 2021 – Over the last years, major slaughterhouses in The Netherlands have implemented camera monitoring systems. Every day, hundreds of hours of video footage are generated. Although current camera systems can help identify animal handling issues, there are significant limitations. In practice, slaughterhouses review a random selection of the many hours of video footage. As a result most video footage, and therefore potential welfare issues, remains unseen.

To address this shortcoming De Dierenbescherming, Deloitte,  Eyes On Animals and Vion have teamed up to jointly develop and implement an innovative and effective camera surveillance system. The newly developed video software uses artificial intelligence to monitor how animals are being handled. It detects movement of persons, animals and objects and how they interact. Video fragments that potentially contain deviations from Vion’s animal handling protocol are automatically selected by the system’s algorithm. These video fragments are presented through a dashboard to be reviewed. This enables Vion’s Animal Welfare Officers to assess the video fragments and take corrective actions to continuously improve animal welfare.

After the initial implementations Vion is now rolling out this camera system across all its slaughterhouses in The Netherlands and Germany.

Click here for the article of De Dierenbescherming about the new camera surveillance system (in Dutch).