MANDATORY USE of Closed Circuit Television in Scottish abattoirs is to come into force from July 1, 2021.
Slaughterhouses will be required to install and operate CCTVs and to retain footage and associated data for a period of 90 days.
The decision follows a public consultation by the Scottish Government in 2018 in which a vast majority of respondents backed the new measures. The legislation was then approved by the Scottish Parliament on November 11.

Read more - Scottish abattoirs to get 'mandatory' CCTV

Currently over 95% of animals processed in Scotland go through abattoirs which use CCTV, however, the standards of that coverage can differ from location to location and some existing CCTV systems may require upgrading or replacement.
Following a long campaign by the veterinary profession, the British Veterinary Association has hailed the move as a positive step for animal welfare.
"This decision is a huge win not only for animal health and welfare but for public health, food safety and trade," said BVA Scottish branch president Kathleen Robertson. "While most Scottish abattoirs already have CCTV, this legislation will help to keep welfare standards high at all stages of the supply chain now and in the future. It is positive that Official Vets in Scottish abattoirs will be able to use CCTV footage as a complement to their welfare monitoring and also have unrestricted access to footage so that they can identify and resolve any breaches in regulation effectively," she explained.
CCTV has been compulsory in all slaughterhouses in England, in areas where live animals are present, since May 2018.
Ms Robertson continued: “Now that Scotland has taken this important step, we hope that governments in Wales and Northern Ireland will follow suit with similar legislation to underpin the high welfare standards across the whole of the UK.”
The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers has called on the government to provide financial support for abattoirs to comply with the new rules: “In the present demanding economic environment for meat plants, due to Covid-19 compliance costs and the continuing confusion surrounding Brexit arrangements, we believe that all plants which are required to make further investments in CCTV equipment, to fully comply with these new rules before July 1, 2021, should be given Government-backed grant support,” said a spokesperson for SAMW.
"Under current protocols, as agreed with Food Standards Scotland, direct access to in-plant CCTV systems is provided for appropriately trained veterinary officers only. This is an important operational point as the viewing of all CCTV footage needs to by trained observers who are fully conversant with in-plant procedures and operating standards and understand what they are seeing. The new regulations will put that arrangement on a more formal footing."
A Scottish Government spokesperson commented: “The introduction of mandatory CCTV coverage offers all animals the same level of protection and will give the public trust that slaughter operations ensure animal welfare. This is also valuable for the industry as footage will provide a management tool to assess operations and train staff. 
 “The Minister for Rural Affairs wrote to the island slaughterhouses on October 23, 2020, offering up to £5000 each to assist the introduction of CCTV, and met with industry representatives this month. Assistance for mainland slaughterhouses is being considered.”