A breakthrough! We finally welcome mandatory CCTV for Scotland

Posted on the 7th December 2020

We’re delighted to share a positive news update regarding our long running campaign for CCTV in all UK slaughterhouses. Mandatory CCTV will come into force for all Scottish slaughterhouses from 1st July 2021. While slaughter can never be cruelty-free, these plans will make a huge difference in protecting animals from the illegal 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.

We appreciate that the majority of slaughterhouses have CCTV in place. However, without rules governing the siting and operation of cameras, or governing who can access the footage, cameras might simply be placed in meat-packing areas to prevent theft, rather than playing any meaningful role in protecting animals from some of the types of horrors we have previously seen.

Slaughterhouses will be required to install and operate CCTV and to retain the footage and associated data for a period of 90 days.

Whilst it is good news that slaughterhouse vets will have unrestricted access to the footage, a proper system of independent monitoring is urgently needed. We believe that the footage should be routinely spot-checked by independent experts, which would help to prevent the kind of sickening abuse that we have repeatedly filmed.

The decision follows a public consultation, in 2018, by the Scottish Government in which the vast majority of respondents backed the new measures. Animal Aid sent our own submission and also provided extensive support and guidance to our supporters to enable as many of them as possible to respond to the consultation1.

Analysis of the consultation responses showed overwhelming public support for the move2. 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%)…The veterinary respondents also noted benefits, from CCTV use, to animal welfare, staff training, food safety and public health’.

We were also delighted that 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.

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. Political parties are working on their upcoming Manifesto items, please take a moment to suggest that they include mandatory slaughterhouse CCTV with independent monitoring.



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