Wales politics

Welsh Government 'considering' slaughterhouse CCTV plan

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Plans to make CCTV mandatory in all slaughterhouses are being considered in Wales.

The Welsh Government said it supported the idea and was looking at "a broad range of views" on the issue.

It comes as Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced proposals on CCTV being required in every slaughterhouse in England in all areas where live animals are present.

RSPCA Cymru has called for the measures to be "brought forward" in Wales.

Under the new plans for England, which aim to ensure high animal welfare standards, vets will also have unrestricted access to footage.

Mr Gove has launched a consultation on the proposals.

The Welsh Government said: "We note with interest the launch of the consultation in England and will continue to keep in regular contact with Defra to see how the consultation progresses.

"We are currently considering all responses to the report of the Safeguarding Animal Welfare at Slaughter Task and Finish Group, set up to consider the implementation of CCTV in Welsh slaughterhouses.

"The cabinet secretary also asked the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group to look into this specific issue

"We will take into account the findings of the framework group, in addition to a broad range of views from all sides of the debate, before deciding on further action."

'Mistreatment'

It added that the "vast majority" of livestock in Wales was slaughtered in facilities that already have the surveillance.

Claire Lawson, RSPCA assistant director of external relations in Wales, said it welcomed the Welsh Government's support but would "like to see measures brought forward which make this mandatory".

"The Welsh Government could protect animals being slaughtered from possible mistreatment, and slaughterhouse staff from any unfounded allegations, by backing the implementation of mandatory CCTV in abattoirs," Ms Lawson said.

She added that the RSPCA had produced a report in response to the task and finish group report, expressing "significant concerns with their evidence base and conclusions", and was waiting for a reply.

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