According to the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, most slaughterhouses in Scotland have CCTV cameras installed. The purpose is obvious, to monitor and improve animal welfare at slaughter. Under the Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (Scotland) Regulations 2012, veterinarians have a right to request and see the CCTV footage if they have concerns about animal welfare.
However, in practice it would seem that this is difficult to enforce. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has concerns that CCTV in slaughterhouses is undermined because vets are refused access to footage and the footage is not monitored independently of the slaughterhouse business operator.
Vets have called for new legislation that would ensure CCTV is compulsory and also that the footage is made readily available. This campaign is the result of undercover footage from an animal welfare organisation that revealed abuse in slaughterhouses in England despite CCTV cameras being installed.
On the other hand, the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) does not believe that making CCTV a mandatory requirement in slaughterhouses is necessary or even desirable. SAMW stated that all their member companies carry out their operations and procedures under the full supervision of a vet. SAMW believes the existing “hands on/ eyes on” approach is more efficient and effective than having someone watching footage remotely and interpreting what they see.
Animal welfare is devolved to the Scottish Parliament so separate legislation would be required to bring forward any changes in Scotland.
On July 5, 2016