Freedom Food-accredited abattoirs will have to be monitored by CCTV under new RSPCA proposals.

About 50% of accredited farms are believed to have already heeded the 'strong recommendation' to install CCTV. But the RSPCA hopes to establish a time­scale to make it mandatory over the next few months.

"CCTV not only acts as a 'preventative' measure, but also allows proper evidence to be collected if animal welfare is suspected of being compromised," said John Avizienius, deputy head of RSPCA's farm animal science department.