The RSPCA is encouraging government to continue to legislate for higher welfare standards in its response to Michael Gove's announcement that CCTVs are to be made mandatory in slaughterhouses.

The RSPCA’s head of public affairs David Bowles said: “This is a very welcome and crucial step towards introducing higher welfare right across the food chain. We applaud the Secretary of State for his steadfast and focused commitment to ensuring the highest possible animal welfare standards in the UK once we have left the EU.

“The RSPCA looks forward to seeing the details of the proposal as issues such as where the cameras will be located, footage quality and storage, and who can have access to it are essential to making the legislation meaningful.

“We also believe there are further ways to improve the slaughter of farm animals once the UK exits the EU such as prohibiting electrical waterbath stunning for poultry and prohibiting slaughter without stunning.

“In addition, next year’s new Agricultural Bill should contain proper incentives for British farmers to move towards meaningful higher welfare production standards and strong safeguards to protect those higher welfare standards from imported food that has come from animals reared outside the UK under poorer conditions.”