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Defra commits to CCTV in slaughterhouses
Mr Gove’s announcement has been warmly welcomed by the BVA, FSA and VPHA.
Welfare codes will also be updated, Gove says

CCTV will become mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England, the government has announced, following years of campaigning by vets.

Environment secretary Michael Gove outlined a series of new measures today (11 August) to reinforce the UK’s status as a global leader in animal welfare.

Under the new rules, CCTV will be required in all areas where live animals are present. Official Vets (OVs) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) will be given unrestricted access to the footage. Currently, OVs may request to see the footage if they suspect abuse, but if this has to be enforced by the courts it can become a lengthy process.

Mr Gove’s announcement has been warmly welcomed by the BVA, FSA and Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA), who have long called for mandatory CCTV. BVA president Gudrun Ravetz described it as “a huge win for animal health and welfare”.

FSA chairman Heather Hancock added: “We look forward to the introduction of a comprehensive requirement for using, accessing and retaining footage from CCTV in abattoirs. We see CCTV as an invaluable management tool for business owners to help with compliance with official controls and to improve animal welfare standards across the industry.”

Defra has also pledged to to raise standards for both farm animals and domestic pets by modernising statutory animal welfare codes, to reflect advances in medicines and technology, as well as the latest research and veterinary advice. The first to be updated will cover chickens bred for meat. It is expected that the codes for laying hens, pigs, dogs, cats and horses will be updated over the next year.

Consultations on both proposals have been published today.

The BVA, VPHA and British Veterinary Poultry Association will consider the detailed plans before submitting their full response to Defra.

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Practices urged to support #vets4vultures

News Story 1
 Veterinary professionals are being urged to take part in the #vets4vultures online fundraising campaign. Vultures are persecuted throughout the world and numbers of some species have fallen by 99.9 per cent in recent years. Wildlife Vets International rescue and rehabilitate the birds of prey, as well as training local vets. However, the charity needs to raise £18,000 for its conservation plans to go ahead next year.

It has been selected for The Big Christmas Give Challenge, which goes live on 28 November. To help practices encourage clients to get involved, there is an online promotional pack containing resources for websites and social media platforms.

For more information emailinfo@wildlifevetsinternational  

News Shorts
Avian flu text alert service launched in Northern Ireland

A new text system to alert bird keepers to the threat of avian flu has been launched in Northern Ireland. The service will enable bird keepers to take action to protect their flock at the earliest opportunity.

Keepers who have already provided NI's Department of Agriculture with a valid mobile number have automatically been subscribed to the service and notified by text. Bird keepers who have not yet received a text should text ‘BIRDS’ to 67300 to register.