Michael Gove has announced that CCTV will soon be mandatory in slaughterhouses across England in government plans to improve animal welfare standards. The cameras will cover all areas which hold live animals and the FSA veterinary professionals will have access to the footage.
Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, says that the implementation of CCTV in all slaughterhouses will make the UK a global leader in animal welfare standards. Gove said: “We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and the actions I am setting out today will reinforce our status as a global leader.
“As we prepare to leave the EU, these measures provide a further demonstration to consumers around the world that our food is produced to the very highest standards.”
There have been concerns that Brexit will affect the animal welfare standards in the UK as well as the importation of chlorinated chicken.
Gove said: “I made it perfectly clear, and indeed this is something on which all members of the Government are agreed, that we are not going to dilute our high animal welfare standards or our high environmental standards in pursuit of any trade deal.”
The CCTV will only be mandatory in English slaughterhouses and will be voluntary in Scotland and Wales.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) chairman, Heather Hancock, said: “The FSA takes a zero tolerance approach to any breaches of animal welfare standards in slaughterhouses.
“Last year, we concluded that it was time to make CCTV compulsory in slaughterhouses, progress on voluntary adoption having plateaued.”
This is good news for transparency of the farming industry. Recent stories have emerged regarding welfare violations at Nando’s chicken farm and at a Warwickshire pig farm which produces pork for Tesco and this latest news, although not a solution to the cruelty of the commercial farming industry, is a step towards better standards for these animals.
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