Lord Trees – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Trees on 2016-05-19.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to require all abattoirs to have CCTV recordings of the slaughter process in the interests of animal welfare, and to require storage of such recordings and access to them by third parties.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble

The primary responsibility for protecting animal welfare in slaughterhouses rests with business operators, who must have operating procedures in place to prevent animals suffering avoidable pain, suffering and distress. Business operators must also have appropriate monitoring procedures in place.

The vast majority of animals are slaughtered in slaughterhouses which have CCTV present, so the Government is not currently persuaded of the case for introducing regulation which would require all abattoirs to have CCTV, but we are keeping the issue under review.

In their report last year, the Farm Animal Welfare Committee recommended that CCTV should be retained, by the slaughterhouse, for a period of at least three months and the Government supports that recommendation. Official Veterinarians of the Food Standards Agency are present in all approved slaughterhouses to monitor and ensure operators comply with strict animal welfare regulations and have the power to seize CCTV footage if they suspect a breach of welfare standards.