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Defra wants to introduce CCTV in all slaughterhouses in England

Matteo Natalucci Published 13 November 2017

Legislation will be introduced in the New Year, coming into force in the Spring development follows recent contract to Exponential-e to network abbatoirs


Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced that CCTV recording will become mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England next year.

In August, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) 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 – with the aim of 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.

The announcement follows a recent Food Standards Agency (FSA) contract to Exponential-e, which will provide a centralised Internet facility to offer greater resiliency to the FSA as it digitises its operations.

The infrastructure will incorporate linking up around 220 remote abbatoir sites with four main sites in York, Cardiff, London and Belfast, using fibre and ADSL services to help speed up the submission of food safety documentation.

Michael Gove said, “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”.

“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”, Gove added.

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 RSPCA’s Head of Public Affairs David Bowles said, “The RSPCA looks forward to seeing the details of the proposal as issues such as where the cameras will be located, footage quality and storage, and who can have access to it are essential to making the legislation meaningful”.

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