CCTV to be installed at all slaughterhouses, Michael Gove announces
New plans to require CCTV at all slaughterhouses in England will cement the country’s position as a “global leader” for animal welfare, Michael Gove has said.
The Environment Secretary has launched a consultation on the proposals, which featured in the Conservative manifesto.
The cameras would cover all areas containing live animals, with the footage available for monitoring by the branch of the Food Standards Agency which enforces animal welfare standards.
Mr Gove said: “We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and the actions I am setting out today will reinforce our status as a global leader.
“As we prepare to leave the EU, these measures provide a further demonstration to consumers around the world that our food is produced to the very highest standards.”
Slaughterhouses which break the rules could be handed a welfare enforcement notice, see staff licences suspended or revoked, or be referred to the police for a criminal investigation.
The Government is also updating the codes governing the treatment of chickens bred for meat to “reflect the most up-to-date best practice on poultry farms”.
Changes to the rules on hens, pigs, dogs, cats and horses will be unveiled over the next year, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs added.
Chicken welfare has come under scrutiny recently as the UK seeks a trade deal with the US after Brexit.
On a recent visit to the US, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox repeatedly ducked questions on whether he opposed allowing the import of chlorinated chicken, which is currently banned in the EU but allowed in the US.
Mr Gove subsequently ruled out the possibility of allowing American farmers to sell such products in the UK.
“I made it perfectly clear, and indeed this is something on which all members of the Government are agreed, that we are not going to dilute our high animal welfare standards or our high environmental standards in pursuit of any trade deal," he said.