Copeland MP backs plans to make CCTV compulsory in slaughterhouses
Copeland MP Trudy Harrison has welcomed the decision to make CCTV essential in slaughterhouses.
New animal welfare plans, announced today by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, will see cameras become mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England.
The announcement is part of a series of measures aiming to cement the UK's place as a global leader on animal welfare.
Mrs Harrison said: "This announcement is a positive move and will help to reassure consumers that high welfare standards are being effectively enforced across the UK.
"Here in the UK we have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and ensuring the welfare of animals is protected during their time in slaughterhouses is paramount - I am pleased that any breaches of animal welfare are met with a zero-tolerance approach."
CCTV will be required in all areas where live animals are present, with unrestricted access to footage for the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) official vets, who monitor and enforce animal welfare in slaughterhouses.
"Britain is renowned internationally for its meat industry and in the next few weeks I will be meeting with members of the National Farmers Union and local farmers to discuss the future of British farming, which is a vital sector to Britain's economy, landscape, health and security, contributing £8.2 billion every year," said Mrs Harrison.
The FSA has processes in place for the approval of slaughterhouses and specially trained vets carry out checks on animal welfare.
If breaches are found, a slaughterhouse can be given a welfare enforcement notice, have its staff's licences suspended or revoked, or be referred for a criminal investigation.
Mr Gove said: "We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and the actions I am setting out today will reinforce our status as a global leader.
"As we prepare to leave the EU, these measures provide a further demonstration to consumers around the world that our food is produced to the very highest standards."
The Government has also confirmed it will raise standards for farm animals and domestic pets by modernising animal welfare codes to reflect enhancements in medicines, technology and the latest research and advice from vets.
The first laws to be updated will cover chickens bred for meat. Welfare codes on laying hens, pigs, dogs, cats and horses are expected to be updated over the next year.