The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has revealed plans to make CCTV installation mandatory at all slaughterhouses in the UK from next year.

The decision was taken by the government after it received a positive reaction from the industry, welfare groups and public.

Earlier this year in August, the Secretary of State launched a public consultation on the proposal for the installation of CCTV in every slaughterhouse in the UK with unrestricted access to footage for Official Veterinarians in order to reassure consumers that welfare standards are being effectively enforced.

The government intends to introduce this legislation in the new year, where all slaughterhouses will be required to comply following an adjustment period of up to six months.

“New proposals will also give the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Official Veterinarians (OVs) unfettered access to the last 90 days of footage to help them monitor and enforce animal welfare standards.”

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and want to cement our status as a global leader by continuing to raise the bar.

“The reaction to this consultation highlights the strength of feeling among the public that all animals should be treated with the utmost respect at all stages of life and be subject to the highest possible welfare standards.

“These strong measures also provide a further demonstration to consumers around the world that, as we leave the EU, we continue to produce our food to the very highest standards.”

Defra noted that the new proposals will also give the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Official Veterinarians (OVs) unfettered access to the last 90 days of footage to help them monitor and enforce animal welfare standards.