CCTV to be made mandatory for Scottish meat plants

New legislation is to be brought forward to make CCTV mandatory in all areas of Scottish abattoirs where live animals are present to ensure animal welfare.

In a statement made to the Scottish Parliament, Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon announced plans to introduce legislation later this year after the majority of respondents to a recent Scottish government consultation backed the new measures.

Incidentally, calls for compulsory CCTV cameras in meat plants were also made this week for Irish factories, with the topic discussed at Tuesday’s (January 8) Beef Plan Movement meeting in Ennis, Co. Clare.

“I don’t see why we can’t have cameras in factories,” one farmer said from the floor at the meeting, following discussions surrounding the carcass trimming controversy at the end of last year.

The Scottish government’s move comes a year after England brought legislation into force making CCTV compulsory in all abattoirs. CCTV is not yet mandatory in Welsh abattoirs, although the Welsh Assembly has introduced a funding package to help smaller sites with installation costs.

Gougeon said: “More than eight out of 10 slaughterhouses in Scotland have already installed CCTV coverage in their premises voluntarily, and over 95% of all animals slaughtered in Scotland are covered by some form of CCTV. However, the standards of that coverage can differ from location to location.

This government is committed to ensuring the highest standards of welfare for all animals. And we are pleased that so many respondents to our consultation backed our proposals to make this compulsory.

“It was important also to consider the financial implications of such a move for industry, and whether other options might be available to improve animal welfare.

“Following a positive response to the consultation, I’m delighted to announce that I will introduce legislation to the Scottish Parliament in 2019, which will help to improve further the already high standards being followed by the livestock sector in Scotland.”