Law requiring CCTV in abattoirs comes into effect

Legislation requiring CCTV in all abattoirs in England has come into force. The Government said the move would cement the UK’s reputation as the global leader on animal welfare.

This follows a consultation by the Secretary of State last August on plans to deliver the government’s manifesto commitment for cameras in every abattoir in England in all areas where live animals are present. Other recent reforms to improve animal welfare include:

  • increasing sentences for animal cruelty tenfold to 6 years
  • launching a call for evidence on the live export of animals
  • banning back street puppy breeders
  • ending the third party sales of puppies
  • publishing updated animal welfare codes


Official Veterinarians will have unrestricted access to footage to reassure consumers that high welfare standards are being effectively enforced.

All slaughterhouses will be required to comply in full by 5 November, following an adjustment period of 6 months to enable businesses to install a suitable CCTV system.

Animal Welfare Minister Lord Gardiner said: “The government shares the public’s high regard for animal welfare and we are proud to have some of the highest standards in the world. Today we welcome the new law which requires mandatory CCTV in all abattoirs in England.

“We are a nation that cares about animals and these strong measures will ensure all animals are treated with the utmost respect at all stages of life allows us to continue to lead the way to raise the bar in high welfare standards.”

British Veterinary Association President John Fishwick said: “We are delighted to hear that CCTV will now become mandatory in all abattoirs across England, providing Official Veterinarians with an essential tool to help them monitor animal welfare and enable them to identify any breaches in the regulations. OVs perform a vital role in abattoirs and unrestricted access to CCTV will allow them to perform this role even more effectively.

“Having campaigned for many years for the introduction of CCTV into slaughterhouses we are very happy to see our work come to fruition and we now hope to see similar legal requirements introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

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