The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed a statement from the Welsh Government which hints at future legislation to introduce CCTV in Welsh slaughterhouses.
In a written statement on ‘Animal welfare in the food chain’, Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, announced a £1.1million Food Business Investment scheme package of grant aid for small and medium size slaughterhouses in Wales and said: “Welfare friendly infrastructure and facilities will be supported and also the installation and upgrading of CCTV monitoring systems. I want to assist Food Business Operators to put systems in place, while legislating for CCTV in slaughterhouses is taking place in England. I want Wales’ slaughterhouses to be fully prepared as I continue to explore opportunities to legislate in the longer term.”
BVA and the Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA) have been campaigning across the UK for mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses covering all areas where live animals are kept, as well as full and unrestricted 24/7 access to CCTV footage for Official Veterinarians (OVs).
Commenting, Sarah Carr, President of BVA Welsh Branch, said: “Improving welfare at slaughter is a hugely important campaign for veterinary surgeons and we hope that the Welsh Government will move quickly towards legislating to introduce CCTV in all Welsh slaughterhouses.
“Mandatory CCTV will provide an essential tool in fostering a culture of compassion that helps safeguard animal welfare. It will also be important for Official Veterinarians to have unrestricted access to footage to ensure Wales continues to have the some of the highest standards of animal health, welfare and food safety.
“The announcement of grant aid for Welsh abattoirs is particularly welcome as it targets smaller local slaughterhouses and supports our view that food animals should be slaughtered as near to the point of production as possible.”