BVA has welcomed the announcement that Scottish legislation is to be brought forward to make CCTV mandatory in all areas of abattoirs where live animals are present.
In a statement made to the Scottish Parliament, Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon announced plans to introduce legislation in 2019. The vast majority of respondents to a recent Scottish Government consultation backed the new measures. England brought legislation into force in 2018 making CCTV compulsory in all abattoirs. CCTV is not yet mandatory in Welsh abattoirs, although the Welsh Assembly has introduced a funding package to help smaller sites with installation costs.
Responding to the announcement, BVA Scottish Branch President, Melissa Donald said:
“This is a huge win for animal health and welfare. While it is positive that 8 out of 10 Scottish abattoirs already have CCTV, introducing legislation ensures consistency across the board and will help to keep welfare standards high at all stages of the supply chain.. Official Veterinarians in Scottish abattoirs will be able to use CCTV as a complement to their welfare monitoring and also have unrestricted access to footage so that they can identify and resolve any breaches in regulation effectively.
“This new legislation will help to reassure consumers that Scottish meat is slaughtered to the highest standards and keep confidence high at a crucial time. Now that Scotland has taken this important step, we hope that governments in Wales and Northern Ireland will follow suit and explore the merits of future legislation for animal welfare, public health, food safety and future trade.”