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HSA’S CCTV seminar highlights need for clarification and guidance

13 June 2018

Last month, over 100 delegates attended the Humane Slaughter Association’s one day seminar Monitoring animal welfare at slaughter - CCTV and beyond.

One of the key areas highlighted by the seminar was that delegates felt there was a need for some clarification and guidance around the use of CCTV - for example about which types of camera comply with the new legislation.  There was also agreement across the floor that the legislation needed pragmatic implementation during the six month running in period and that it not only offered considerable benefits to animal welfare, but also for the slaughterhouse operator.

The HSA’s Technical Director, Charles Mason, who led the event said: “CCTV is a useful tool in a multi-disciplinary approach to monitoring animal welfare prior to and during slaughter.  However, it is not a replacement for the Official Veterinarian or the Animal Welfare Officer, nor is it a single solution but a tool to be used in conjunction with other monitoring procedures, such as a visual assessment and routine welfare audits.  CCTV has additional benefits other than monitoring, for example as a training aid and for assessing productivity.”  

A Defra spokesman summarised the scope of the new regulations – that slaughterhouse operators must install and operate a CCTV system that provides a clear and complete picture of areas where live animals are present, with recorded images and information retained for 90 days and access provided for inspectors. 

They were also able to reassure delegates that the six month transition period was to allow for CCTV installation to take place and that enforcement would not commence until November 2018.  CCTV installations and their use would be proportionate to the size of premises and their throughput, and guidance for industry on complying with the new CCTV Regulation would be provided.

The seminar’s delegates included those associated with animal welfare at slaughter, veterinary surgeons, meat inspectors, food business operators, slaughter personnel, lairage workers, enforcement officers and legislators. 

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