Supermarkets must pressurise slaughterhouses into installing CCTV to curb bad practice, a leading animal welfare charity has said.

Animal Aid published a report this week that states hidden cameras at seven red meat slaughterhouses had revealed "widespread cruelty, terrified animals struggling to escape and many serious breaches of animal welfare laws."

The charity believes that CCTV would help alleviate cruelty in the industry. "Retailers should have a say in how their products are produced," said head of campaigns Kate Fowler.

There is currently no legal requirement to install CCTV in slaughterhouses, but the FSA gave its backing in a report made by operations director Andrew Rhodes to the FSA open board on 12 October. It stated: "Installation needs to continue on a voluntary ­basis but Food Business Operators may find additional pressure being ­applied by retailers."