Animal slaughter: guidance on the use of mandatory CCTV

Guidance to help business operators of slaughterhouses comply with the Mandatory Use of Closed Circuit Television in Slaughterhouses (Scotland) Regulations 2020.

You must install and be operating a CCTV system that meets the needs of the CCTV Regulations by 1 July 2021.

Your CCTV cameras must be placed to make sure there is a complete and clear view of killing and related operations in all areas of the slaughterhouse where live animals are present. 

Your CCTV cameras should cover all areas of the premises where live animals may be – including unloading, lairage, handling, restraining, stunning, bleeding and killing areas. You should take steps to ensure there are no blind spots. Cameras which move or swivel may not on their own provide a continuous or complete picture of an area.

Your CCTV system must be working and recording at all times when and where there are live animals in the slaughterhouse, including delivery of animals outside normal working hours.

Your CCTV system must provide a complete and clear image; picture resolution must be good enough so you can identify people in the pictures and recorded images.

You must ensure that the CCTV system is able to show clear pictures in the light available. In areas of low lighting, for example poultry shackle lines, you should consider whether infra-red cameras are needed.

Your CCTV system should produce as close to real time recordings as practically possible.  The frame rate should be capable of recording continuous motion. While a frame rate of at least 15 frames per second is not mandatory it is recommended, however lower rates are acceptable provided the footage captures a complete and clear image at all times. FSS will confirm if the image is complete and clear once the system is set-up.

Your CCTV cameras should be fitted in areas where it is difficult for authorised persons to access, for example in cramped killing areas and gas stunning systems.

Your CCTV cameras must be kept in good working order. You should ensure they are kept clean and regularly maintained to ensure images are clear. Your CCTV cameras should be easily located for servicing, yet protected from damage. You should have a planned and recorded maintenance schedule.

Your CCTV system must be capable of constant recording. It must be able to produce images and information for inspection or to be taken away by an authorised person, without stopping the overall operation of the system.

You must fix the CCTV system as quickly as possible if it is broken. Failure to do so may result in an enforcement notice being issued to you. However simply having a broken CCTV system should not require the plant to cease operating, as CCTV systems are not intended to replace normal monitoring by staff. 

If you have other CCTV cameras, for example for security or fault-finding reasons, these would not be considered part of “the CCTV system” as defined in the CCTV Regulations and would not be covered by the requirements of the CCTV Regulations. However, even if a camera is not part of the CCTV system the Food Standards Scotland Official Veterinarian can use existing powers under Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (Scotland) Regulations 2012 to inspect, copy or seize records if the camera records an animal welfare incident.


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