Let's Tell Consumers What They're Buying

I understand the strength of feeling on this issue and indeed, I am sure that you are aware there are long-standing provisions in UK law that, subject to specific requirements, permit the slaughter of animals without prior stunning to meet Jewish and Islamic religious requirements.
Although I would prefer all animals to be stunned before slaughter, I recognise the requirements of Jewish and Muslim communities and accept the importance they attach to slaughter in accordance with their beliefs. I am, however, determined to ensure that religious slaughter is only carried out by licensed slaughtermen in approved or regulated slaughterhouses. Slaughter is not and must not be permitted in any other place, even for personal consumption.
There is no national or EU requirement to display the method of slaughter on meat products but where this is included it must be accurate. Consumers should have the necessary information available to them to make an informed choice about their food, and this is something that the Government will be able to consider in the context of leaving the EU.
I am pleased to say that following the conclusion of a consultation launched in August 2017, CCTV is now mandatory in all slaughterhouses. Legislation came into force in May 2018, with all slaughterhouses required to comply fully by 5 November after a 6-month adjustment period to allow businesses to install a suitable system.
Plans put forward by the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, met with an extremely positive reaction from the industry, welfare groups and the public, with more than 99 per cent of almost 4,000 responses showing support.
Ministers agreed with these views in favour of mandatory CCTV to protect animal welfare in slaughterhouses. The Food Standards Agency's Official Veterinarians also have unfettered access to the last 90 days of footage, to help them monitor and enforce animal welfare standards.
The UK has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and it is right for us to cement our status as a global leader by continuing to raise the bar. The reaction to this consultation highlights the strength of feeling among the public that all animals should be treated with the utmost respect at all stages of life, and be subject to the highest possible welfare standards.
These strong measures provide a further demonstration to consumers around the world that, as we leave the EU, we will continue to produce our food to the very highest standards.