Closed circuit television (CCTV) recording would become mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England next year under a new legislative proposal, the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced.
Legislation will be introduced in the New Year and would go into effect in the spring.
All slaughterhouses would be required to comply following an adjustment period of up to six months.
“We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and want to cement our status as a global leader by continuing to raise the bar,” Environment Secretary Michael Gove said. “These strong measures also provide a further demonstration to consumers around the world that as we leave the EU we continue to produce our food to the very highest standards.”
The proposals would 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.
Defra said the proposal comes after a comment period that produced almost 4,000 respondents, more than 99 percent of which supported the plans.
Both the British Veterinary Association and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals applauded the move.
Heather Hancock, chairman of the Food Standards Agency, said, “The Secretary of State’s decision to require CCTV in all slaughterhouses is a welcome step towards ensuring that animal welfare and hygiene standards are met across the meat industry.”