I have been contacted in the past by many constituents concerned about animal welfare in slaughterhouses and calling for mandatory CCTV to be introduced. 

As part of a series of measures to further improve animal welfare, I am delighted that the Government will now hold a consultation for CCTV to be required in every slaughterhouse in England in all areas where live animals are present.  The consultation will also include proposals to raise standards for farm animals and domestic pets by modernising statutory animal welfare codes to reflect enhancements in medicines, technology and the latest research and advice from vets. The codes will remain enshrined in law and the first to be updated will cover chickens bred for meat.

The consultation is open until 21 September and you can respond to it here:

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/farm-animal-welfare/cctv-in-slaughterhouses/

HOUSE OF COMMONS

LONDON SW1A 0AA

11 August 2017

Dear Colleague,

CONSULTATION ON INTRODUCING CCTV IN ENGLISH SLAUGHTERHOUSES

I am writing to inform you about new plans to make CCTV mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England as we further cement our position as a global leader on animal welfare. The proposals in the six week consultation, launched today, will make it necessary for slaughterhouses to record all areas where live animals are present.

Authorised officers such as official veterinary surgeons would have unrestricted access to footage, reassuring consumers that high welfare standards are being effectively enforced. If breaches are found, a slaughterhouse can be given a welfare enforcement notice, have its licence suspended or revoked, or be referred for a criminal investigation.

The Food Standards Agency supports the introduction of mandatory CCTV as a tool to improve both the effectiveness and the efficiency of their oversight and enforcement activity. I expect the Government’s proposals to be supported by a wide range of organisations and the British Veterinary Association. These proposals should increase public confidence in the welfare standards of Great British food and I would expect the farming and food industry to support them.

We will also consult on plans to raise standards for farm animals and domestic pets by modernising statutory animal welfare codes to reflect enhancements in medicines, technology and the latest research and advice from vets. The codes will remain enshrined in law and the first to be updated will cover chickens bred for meat.

These proposals fulfil our manifesto commitment and demonstrate that this Government has strong animal welfare credentials.

Yours ever,

Lord Gardiner of Kimble