Last week I received a letter from Lord Gardiner, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity. In the letter he informed me about news plans to introduce CCTV recording facilities to all slaughterhouses in England. The plans were launched as part of a six week consultation. I have included a link to the consultation below, should you wish to make your own contributions.
I know there are many people in the constituency who have passionate views about animal welfare and I hope this announcement goes some way to reassuring them of the Government’s commitment to this most important of issues.
However, it must be noted, this commitment doesn’t start at the abattoir. Britain has the highest standards of animal welfare in the world and as we depart the European Union, the Government fully intends to protect and promote those standards so that we remain a proud world leader in this field. I have written to ministers on the behalf of several constituents to represent their views and will continue to do so.
The letter from Lord Gardiner makes it clear that “authorised officers, such as official veterinary surgeons, would have unrestricted access to footage, reassuring consumers that high welfare standards are being effectively enforced.” There are of course a number of existing penalties that these officers can revert to, should the abattoir be in breach of any regulations. The introduction of CCTV to every abattoir means that these officers can enforce standards to the highest level.