After concluding its consultation, the Government has announced it will proceed with plans to make CCTV mandatory in all registered slaughterhouses in England, regardless of size. In total there was 3,869 responses to the consultation, the vast majority of which were from the general public. 3,838 respondents were in favour of the introduction of mandatory CCTV, demonstrating overwhelming support for this policy.
In light of the responses, the Government has decided that recordings should be retained by the slaughterhouse for a period of 90 days, which is broadly in line with the requirements of some assurance schemes. Official Veterinarians will be responsible for reviewing the footage when animal welfare issues arise.
For enforcement purposes, the FSA and other enforcement authorities will be given unfettered access to the footage. However, there will be no independent monitoring, which will disappoint some within the animal protection community. As the footage will remain the property of the slaughterhouse, it cannot be subject to freedom of information requests.
Food Business Operators will be expected to site CCTV in any area where animals are unloaded, kept, handled, stunned and killed. The Government has rejected calls by some respondents to make smaller slaughterhouses exempt, stating, ‘All animals should be offered the same level of protection at the time of killing.’
A-law welcomes this announcement and looks forward to the publication of draft legislation in due course.
You can read the consultation report here.