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.

Power to inspect and seize

You, or staff picked by you with working knowledge of your CCTV system, must provide access to the CCTV equipment, images and information, to an authorised person. The authorised person can view live or stored images and information. The authorised person can ask for help which you should provide without delay, subject to an FBO’s other statutory obligations,  and they can ask for documents and records to inspect or copy. If you keep any of your retained data away from your premises, you must still make it available.

The Official Veterinarian (OV) in the slaughterhouse who leads on animal welfare will usually be the authorised person who will request to view the CCTV footage. The OV may ask to see stored footage from any day or time in the last 90 days when the slaughterhouse was operating, if they are aware of an animal welfare incident but also to check past slaughterhouse processes and practices.

An authorised person is allowed by law to inspect the CCTV system and any images and information recorded by it.  The authorised person may:

  • copy images and information
  • seize CCTV system equipment, if needed, including computers and other equipment installed as part of the CCTV system. This should only be required in exceptional circumstances if it is essential to access images that cannot be viewed or copied in any other way and the business owner is not co-operative.

If you make copies of images or information for the authorised person, they are unlikely to  seize equipment. If the authorised person takes the equipment, the authorised person or the person investigating will be responsible for protecting the personal data on the footage.

When an authorised person takes any part of the CCTV system, they must provide a written receipt identifying the items taken, and return those items when no longer required. Where items are used as evidence in court proceedings, they will be returned to you as soon as possible after the court proceedings end,

You should make sure that there is back-up equipment available, such as storage media, in case an authorised person does take any CCTV-linked equipment. This will enable the CCTV system to continue to record and capture data and images and you are able to carry on complying with the CCTV Regulations.

If you do not have a compliant CCTV system in place after any equipment is seized, the authorised person may issue an enforcement notice, to require you to replace equipment and to state how quickly the replacement equipment must be installed.


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