Thank you for contacting me about the use of CCTV in slaughterhouses.
Let me assure you that the Government shares my own commitment to maintaining high standards of animal welfare at slaughter, and there are strict legal requirements in place. In slaughterhouses, these requirements are monitored and enforced by Official Veterinarians of the Food Standards Agency to ensure that animals are spared unnecessary suffering, distress or pain during the slaughter process.
CCTV, as with other monitoring methods, does have limitations and relies on businesses to monitor their operations appropriately.
The committee that advises the Government on farm animal welfare has reviewed the effectiveness of CCTV in verifying the welfare of animals in slaughterhouses. The committee reported earlier this year and while it did not recommend legislation to make CCTV mandatory, it did express the view that CCTV can be beneficial to animal welfare at slaughter. It further recommended that all assurance scheme operators, food retailers and others in the food chain should require that CCTV be installed in slaughterhouses associated with them. Whilst the Government is unconvinced of the need for further legislation at this time, it is keeping the need for CCTV under review and I have been assured that the Government will give this report full consideration.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.