Mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses could be back on the cards, with the FSA board set to consider whether it should push Defra for new legislation when it meets later this month.

The FSA currently supports the voluntary adoption of CCTV by operators, but a paper by COO Jason Feeney published ahead of the 21 September meeting asks the board to consider whether it should make a case to Defra for “mandatory installation”.

“Whilst the FSA is well-placed to investigate ways in which the presence of CCTV might be further exploited to drive behaviour change towards improved animal welfare in slaughterhouses, some changes would require action from Defra,” it states.

An FSA spokeswoman confirmed the FSA board was being asked to consider whether the agency should “go further than our current position”.

However, she stressed policy responsibility sat with Defra and the Welsh government, so “any decision on mandatory CCTV wouldn’t be made by the FSA”.

Feeney’s report also highlights the FSA’s intention to ramp up transparency and reporting around animal welfare abuse in slaughterhouses. “An improved recording system has been implemented, which should enable further improvements to reporting and transparency in future,” it states.

But it stops short of recommending naming plants found guilty of welfare breaches, noting there has been a “historical reluctance” to publish those details due to concerns over staff welfare and security.