Scotland will install closed television circuits (CCTV system) in all areas of slaughterhouses where there are live animals to ensure the "highest standards of animal welfare." The Minister of Rural Affairs and Environment, Mairi Gougeon, has announced that she will present the regulations in this regard throughout the year. The decision comes after the Scottish government made a consultation on this proposal that "was supported by the vast majority of respondents."
Gougeon explained that the situation in Scotland is already good, because "more than eight out of ten slaughterhouses have coverage and cameras in their facilities on a voluntary basis, and more than 95% of all slaughtered animals are covered by some system of that type. "But there are no fixed standards, so the coverage may vary from one place to another.
The regulation aims to guarantee a unified model, which will force the installation of cameras. The minister indicated that they have also contemplated the financial implications that the measure would imply for the industry and if there were other options to improve animal welfare. Scotland joins other places such as England or Israel, in which it has legislated on the matter.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA, for its acronym in English) has welcomed the announcement. In response to the news, Melissa Donald, president of BVA Scottish Branch, said in a statement that it is a "great victory for the health and welfare of animals." The new legislation, he added, will help reassure consumers that Scottish meat is sacrificed to the highest standards. "Now that Scotland has taken this important step, we hope that the governments of Wales and Northern Ireland will follow their example and explore the merits of future legislation on animal welfare, public health, food safety and future trade," he said.
In Spain there is no legislation in this regard, although there is a growing concern for animal welfare. The Equalia organization, involved in the fight against animal abuse, has opened a petition for signatures on its website to request the installation of video surveillance cameras in Spanish slaughterhouses. "Consumers and consumers have the right to know more about the products we consume and the ethical treatment of companies," they say. So far, they have obtained more than 20,000 rubrics.