The use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in slaughterhouses in Wales is to become mandatory this year.

The mandatory use of Closed Circuit Television in Slaughterhouses (Wales) Regulations 2024 will require CCTV cameras to be installed in all slaughterhouses in areas where live animals are unloaded, kept, handled, stunned, and killed.

The Senedd approved the regulations yesterday (Tuesday, May 22) which are now included in the Animal Welfare Plan for Wales, which seeks to maintain and improve standards of welfare for all kept animals.

Most slaughterhouses in Wales already have CCTV.  This requirement ensures all are covered, supporting consumer confidence that welfare standards are being delivered.  

Requirements to install and operate a CCTV system and keep CCTV footage and information will come into force on June 1.

This gives a six-month period where the Food Standards Agency will work with slaughterhouse operators to ensure they are compliant with the requirements, ahead of the Regulations being enforced on December 1.

In a statement, the Welsh government said CCTV “does not replace direct oversight by slaughterhouse management or official veterinarians,” but that “it can help improve the efficiency of monitoring and enforcement activity”.

The cabinet secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies, said: “Animal welfare is a key priority for this government, we want our farmed animals to have a good quality of life and we take welfare at slaughterhouses very seriously.

“The network of slaughterhouses in Wales provide essential services to farmers, butchers, and consumers.They also provide skilled jobs and support local supply chains.

“Mandatory CCTV for all our slaughterhouses further supports consumer confidence that welfare standards are being delivered,” she added.

A twelve-week public consultation was published on November 14, 2022 and closed for responses on February 6, 2023.

A summary of the responses to the consultation was published in May 2023.

The Welsh government confirmed there were 16,000 responses to the consultation and the “overwhelming majority agreed” that CCTV cameras should be installed in all approved slaughterhouses in Wales.

CCTV in slaughterhouses has been mandatory in England since 2018 and mandatory in Scotland since 2021.