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Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner Drew Mc Arthur launched the investigation after undercover video emerged in June showing Elite Farm Services Ltd.
In his report, however, Mc Arthur concluded that this attempt to curb animal abuse at its facilities “did not access the privacy risks associated with implementing video surveillance.” The Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.
Mercy for Animals Canada, however, said that even if Elite Services is able to implement a surveillance method that complies with PIPA, it will only help prevent animal abuse on farms if a third-party check is in place.
“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,” vice-president Krista Hiddema said in an email statement Wednesday.
“We found that the company was not authorized to collect the information under PIPA because the purposes for which it was collecting and using personal information were not reasonable.” Mc Arthur also found the surveillance protocol resulted in Elite Farm Services collecting information about others without consent, including farmers, truckers and contractors.