Mandatory CCTV for all slaughterhouses in Scotland

Posted on the 1st July 2021

We have positive news regarding our long-running campaign for CCTV in all UK slaughterhouses. Mandatory CCTV will come into force for all Scottish slaughterhouses from today, 1st July 2021. These plans should make a difference in protecting animals from the illegal and gratuitous violence our investigations have revealed time after time. The presence of CCTV cameras can have a deterrent effect and the footage can be used as evidence in prosecutions.

Scottish Government guidance states that CCTV cameras should cover all areas of the premises where live animals may be – including areas where it is difficult for authorised persons to access, for example in cramped killing areas and inside gas stunning systems. CCTV systems must be working and recording at all times, including delivery of animals outside normal working hours. They must also keep CCTV images for 90 days from the date taken and make the footage available for authorised persons to view, copy or seize. Further details are available here.

The decision follows a public consultation back in 2018, by the Scottish Government, in which the vast majority (95.1% ) of respondents backed the new measures. Animal Aid sent our own submission and also provided extensive guidance to supporters to take part*. More than 10,000 people signed a petition from Animal Aid, OneKind and activists, which called for the introduction of CCTV in all areas of all slaughterhouses in Scotland.
Thank you to everyone who added their voice.

Animal welfare is a devolved issue, so the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have to enact legislation. The pressure is now on Wales and Northern Ireland to follow suit. Welsh Labour has made a recent Manifesto Commitment to bring mandatory CCTV, please help us to keep up the pressure for Wales to introduce this measure without delay

*Analysis of the consultation responses showed overwhelming public support for the move. It stated: ‘Of the 244 responses to this question, 95.1% were in favour of the introduction of compulsory CCTV recording in all areas of approved slaughterhouses in Scotland where live animals are present. 3.7% of respondents were against compulsory introduction and 1.2% did not express a view.’
The analysis highlighted the support of vets: ‘Respondents from the veterinary profession were generally in favour of compulsory CCTV recording (90.9%).’

Call on the Welsh Government to make good on their manifesto commitment to introduce mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses

Quote for media:

‘Animal Aid welcomes new regulations for mandatory CCTV across all of Scotland’s slaughterhouses and encourages Wales to follow suit with the added assurance of independent monitoring: Abattoirs are violent, bloody places – and our undercover footage repeatedly shows shocking abuse and lawbreaking across the industry – including at ‘higher welfare’ slaughterhouses. We hope CCTV can stop some of this illegal violence. However, there is no humane way to kill an animal who wants to live: We urge anyone who is moved by slaughterhouse suffering to go vegan – the only way to safeguard animals from this harm’ – Tor Bailey, Campaign Manager