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New slaughterhouse CCTV law will help safeguard animal welfare, say vets

Posted 23/02/18

Legislation to make CCTV cameras mandatory in slaughterhouses in England to safeguard animal welfare will be laid today (23 February) by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Legislation to make CCTV cameras mandatory in slaughterhouses in England to safeguard animal welfare will be laid today (23 February) by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

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.

President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), vet John Fishwick said:

“Mandatory CCTV in all areas of slaughterhouses will provide an essential tool in fostering a culture of compassion that could help safeguard animal welfare.

“We commend the Government’s commitment to provide Official Veterinarians with unrestricted access to the footage, which the veterinary profession has long been campaigning for.

“It is vets’ independence and unique qualifications that help ensure the UK will continue to have the highest standards of animal health, welfare and food safety post-Brexit.”

BVA and the Veterinary Public Health Association, which represents OVs who oversee animal health and welfare and public health in slaughterhouses, have been campaigning for both mandatory CCTV in all areas of slaughterhouses where live animals are kept and full and unrestricted 24/7 access to CCTV footage for OVs as part of their long-standing welfare at slaughter campaign. 

The new legislation will come into effect from May 2018, once it passes through Parliament, at which point businesses will have six months to comply.


  1. BVA is the national representative body for the veterinary profession in the UK. We represent the views of our 17,000 members on animal health and welfare, and veterinary policy issues to government, parliamentarians and key influencers in the UK and EU.
  2. VPHA  was formed in 1960 to represent veterinarians and allied professionals, such as environmental health officers, in the field of veterinary public health. This is a very wide field and covers all aspects of animal disease, food production and other enterprises that have any interaction with the human population. It covers specific issues such as residues associated with pharmaceuticals, animal welfare, zoonoses, genetically modified food and feeds, the environmental impact of farming, meat hygiene, food safety, as well as all aspects of the production of all foods of animal origin including seafood, mollusc-farming and dairy production among many other issues. The VPHA is committed to the protection of the consumer and the environment, and to the promotion of animal welfare.
  3. The ‘Mandatory Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) recording in slaughterhouses: Summary of responses and Government response’ is available to view on GOV.UKhttps://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/animal-welfare-cctv-in-slaughterhouses
  4. The joint response from BVA, the Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA) and Association of Government Veterinarians (AGV) to the Government’s CCTV consultation (August/September 2017) is available at https://www.bva.co.uk/uploadedFiles/Content/News,_campaigns_and_policies/Get_involved/Consultation_archive/BVA%20VPHA%20AGV%20Consultation%20response%20Defra%20CCTV.pdf
  5. For more information on the announcement, contact the Defra press office on 020 8225 7318
  6. For more information on BVA’s statement or campaign, please contact the BVA media office on 07503 190 247 or via media@bva.co.uk.

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