The BVA and the Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA) reiterated their call for mandatory CCTV cameras in slaughterhouses and legislation to ensure vets have unrestricted access to the footage.

Vets want unrestricted access to CCTV footage from UK slaughterhouses.
Vets want unrestricted access to CCTV footage from UK slaughterhouses.

The call follows undercover filming by Hillside Animal Sanctuary at the Simply Halal slaughterhouse in Norwich that revealed serious abuses of animals at slaughter, despite CCTV being installed. The footage was reported not to have been stored.

Fundamentally undermined

According to the Food Standards Agency, 90% of slaughterhouses in the UK have CCTV, aimed at monitoring and improving animal welfare at slaughter. However, the BVA and VPHA have urgent concerns the purpose of CCTV in slaughterhouses is fundamentally undermined if vets are refused access to footage and it is not monitored independently of the business operator.

Under the law, official veterinarians (OVs) have a right to request and view footage if they have cause for concern abuse may be occurring. However, if this needs to be enforced though the courts the process can be protracted.

Sean Wensley
BVA president Sean Wensley.

BVA president Sean Wensley said it was unacceptable there are slaughterhouses unwilling to share CCTV footage with OVs.

Culture of compassion

Dr Wensley said: “We are lobbying for CCTV to be mandatory in all slaughterhouses and for legislation to ensure footage is readily available to vets.

“We need to foster a culture of compassion in slaughterhouses, coupled with robust and effective enforcement, so the animals we farm for food have both a good life and a humane death.”

VPHA president Lewis Grant added: “The promotion of good animal welfare is fundamental to the core values of the VPHA and the ability of OVs in slaughterhouses to freely monitor the activities at the point of slaughter would not only ensure good animal welfare, but also serve to promote the integrity of the industry as a whole.”

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "Vets call for unrestricted access to CCTV footage from slaughterhouses"

Notify of

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
d roberts
d roberts
4 months 22 days ago

i just regard it as essential for vets to have access to view both CCTV and actual slaughter of all animals. this is a real protection of animals at the end of their lives and we cannot disregard our duty of compassion.

we animals on this planet are after all related per the dim and distant past.
if you can put me in touch with a genuine charity protesting for this,it would be appreciated. thank you for reading this.

Vet Times
4 months 21 days ago


The animal charity who did the undercover filming at the Simply Halal slaughterhouse was Hillside Animal Sanctuary. Visit email or call 01603 736200.

The RSPCA also supports the use of CCTV in all slaughterhouses.


related content

Despite never meeting him or even speaking to him, the late, great Bob Michell had a profound influence on Nick Marsh's veterinary career and on his outlook in general.

10 mins

The BVA is looking for nominations for the 2017-18 junior vice-president post, as well as three members of its newly formed electoral college.

5 mins

Owners are “killing pets with kindness” in the face of a UK animal obesity crisis, according to BVA president Gudrun Ravetz.

4 mins

To mark the launch of the 2017 BVA In Practice CPD programme, the association has teamed up with programme sponsor Subaru to find a vet to give one of its Outback models the most intense test drive possible.

3 mins

The announcement of a regionalised approach to eliminating bTB in Wales has been welcomed by the British Veterinary Association.

4 mins

BVA research has revealed more than half of UK vets saw tortoises with weight loss or anorexia following their last hibernation, possibly down to owners using shoeboxes to house their resting pets.

4 mins