The Welsh government’s voluntary funding scheme to install CCTV in abattoirs has been called 'insufficient' as only one application has received payment for its implementation.
According to information made available through an FOI request, one application has successfully received a monetary payment since the scheme was launched.
The Welsh Conservatives, which made the request, said it was 'dismayed' at the revelations, adding that CCTVs in slaughterhouses should be made mandatory.
The FOI request also shows that only eight applications for grants from abattoirs have been received through the Food Business Investment Scheme.
Four of these applications were to enable or upgrade CCTV systems to monitor animal welfare.
There are currently 23 operational slaughterhouses in Wales. The most recent publicly available statistics, published in 2016, indicated that only eight had any form of CCTV.
According to the report, these included the three largest sites in Wales.
The Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Janet Finch-Saunders MS, said the Welsh government’s approach to the issue was 'insufficient'.
“When the Environment Minister was questioned about making CCTV mandatory, she said that she believed compulsory CCTV in slaughterhouses should only be considered if a purely voluntary approach fell short.
“Plainly put, this approach has not only fallen short, it has failed," she said.
CCTV installation in slaughterhouses is compulsory in England and Scotland, something which the Welsh Conservatives is demanding for Wales.
“CCTV in slaughterhouses will ensure that mistreatment of animals is quickly detected and dealt with," Ms Finch-Saunders added.
"The use of this technology has long been viewed as an important step in ensuring that we have very highest levels of protection on animal welfare in Wales.
“Urgent action needs to be taken to rectify this situation, mandating the use of CCTV in critical areas in Welsh slaughterhouses.”