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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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Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

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News Shorts
BVA infographic to help shoppers understand farm assurance schemes

An infographic to help members of the public understand farm assurance schemes has been produced by the BVA. The infographic outlines BVA’s priorities for animal welfare and shows whether or not the schemes address these priorities in their standards.

BVA president John Fishwick said: “The infographic is not intended to be a league table but to allow people to understand what aspects of animal health and welfare are addressed by assurance schemes so that they can decide which scheme best aligns with their own individual preferences and priorities."