Gove unveils plans to improve animal welfare

The environment secretary, Michael Gove, has unveiled a series of measures to improve animal welfare including the requirement for all slaughterhouses to install CCTV.

The government also plans to update statutory animal welfare codes to reflect enhancements in medicines, technology and the latest research and advice from vets.

Gove said the new measures would demonstrate to consumers around the world that British food is produced to the very highest standards as the UK prepares to leave the EU and negotiate trade deals with third countries.

Under the new plans for CCTV, footage would be accessible to vets from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) whose job it is to monitor and enforce animal welfare standards in slaughterhouses.

The commitment to making CCTV mandatory formed part of the Conservative Party manifesto following a review from the FSA in 2016 which concluded that it was time to make CCTV compulsory in slaughterhouses since progress on voluntary adoption had plateaued.

Updates to welfare codes will begin with chicken meat with the codes on laying hens, pigs, dogs, cats and horses also expected to be updated over the next year.

A consultation on CCTV in slaughterhouses will run for six weeks from 11 August while the consultation on the code of practice for the welfare of meat chickens and meat breeding chickens will run for eight weeks from the same date.

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