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9 January 2019, 06:37
New animal welfare laws requiring all abattoirs to use CCTV could be brought in.
The Scottish Government has announced it is to bring forward legislation on the issue this year.
Under ministers' plans, abattoirs would be compelled to record on CCTV in all the areas where there are live animals.
The move is aimed at ensuring there are "the highest standards of animal welfare" in abattoirs by helping those tasked with enforcing welfare legislation, ministers said.
The proposal comes after the vast majority of people responding to a recent consultation backed the measure, the Scottish Government said.
Speaking as she prepared to make a parliamentary statement on animal welfare at Holyrood on Wednesday, Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said: "More than eight out of 10 slaughterhouses in Scotland have already installed CCTV coverage in their premises voluntarily, and over 95% of all animals slaughtered in Scotland are covered by some form of CCTV. However, the standards of that coverage can differ from location to location.
"This government is committed to ensuring the highest standards of welfare for all animals. And we are pleased that so many respondents to our consultation backed our proposals to make this compulsory.
"It was important also to consider the financial implications of such a move for industry, and whether other options might be available to improve animal welfare.
"Following a positive response to the consultation, I'm delighted to announce that I will introduce legislation to the Scottish Parliament in 2019, which will help to improve further the already high standards being followed by the livestock sector in Scotland."