Publication - Factsheet

Animal slaughter: regulations

Published: 9 Jan 2019

Information about the various regulations that govern animal slaughter.

9 Jan 2019
Animal slaughter: regulations

The Scottish Government is responsible for animal welfare legislation in Scotland.

Council Regulation 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing, came into effect on 1 January 2013, replacing Council Directive 93/119/EC. This was developed in light of scientific developments, European Food Safety Authority opinions and public concern regarding poor practice in some member states. 

Animal welfare at slaughter was previously protected by the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 (WASK). This transposed Directive 93/119/EC on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing.

The Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (Scotland) Regulations 2012, implements and enforces 1099/2009 while maintaining all existing national rules that go beyond the EU regulation. It affects a wide variety of businesses, including poultry and livestock farmers, knackermen and equipment manufacturers in addition to abattoirs.

We consulted on how best to implement Regulation 1099/2009 in Scotland in 2012. 

Mandatory Use of Closed Circuit Television in Slaughterhouses (Scotland) Regulations 2020 and guidance

In November 2020 the Mandatory Use of Closed Circuit Television in Slaughterhouses (Scotland) Regulations 2020 were passed. The Regulations mandate the use of CCTV in all areas of Scottish slaughterhouses where live animals are present and the recording and storage of images for 90 days.

CCTV offers benefits in increasing public trust that processes are carried out properly in accordance with legal requirements; identifying animal welfare issues or incidents that might be missed by physical observation; and as a valuable tool in staff training in the handling and welfare of animals.    

Full guidance for business operators of slaughterhouses on the use of CCTV is available.  

We also consulted on the compulsory use of CCTV in abattoirs and analysis of consultation responses on use of CCTV.

Food Standards Scotland license slaughterers and animal handlers, make sure they are trained and competent, and enforce legislation.