In August, the Secretary of State launched a consultation on the plans to deliver a manifesto commitment for CCTV to be required in every slaughterhouse in England in all areas where live animals are present, with unrestricted access to footage for Official Veterinarians - reassuring consumers that high welfare standards are being effectively enforced.
Legislation will be introduced in the New Year, coming into force in the Spring. All slaughterhouses will be required to comply following an adjustment period of up to six months.
A summary of responses published shows that of almost 4,000 respondents, more than 99% were supportive of the plans.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said that the reaction to this consultation highlights the strength of feeling among the public that all animals should be treated with the utmost respect at all stages of life and be subject to the highest possible welfare standards.
Having carefully considered all of the responses, the Government agrees with the overwhelming proportion of respondents that were in favour of mandatory CCTV to protect animal welfare in slaughterhouses. The proposals will also give the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Official Veterinarians (OVs) unfettered access to the last 90 days of footage to help them monitor and enforce animal welfare standards.
The FSA has strict processes in place for the approval of slaughterhouses, and specially trained vets carry out checks to make sure the welfare of animals is protected throughout their time in the slaughterhouse. If breaches are found, a slaughterhouse can be given a welfare enforcement notice, have its staff’s licences suspended or revoked, or be referred for a criminal investigation.
Sunday November 12, 2017/ DEFRA/ United Kingdom.