Slaughterhouses in England will have to install CCTV as part of government plans to monitor animal welfare.
Under rules being phased in over the next year, Food Standards Agency vets will be able to ask to see footage of all areas where livestock are held.
Slaughterhouses found to be failing welfare standards could face a criminal investigation or lose staff licences.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the proposals would make the UK a “global leader on animal welfare”.
Currently, keepers of animals bred for meat must meet animal welfare laws and codes of practice, which cover the treatment of livestock including how they are fed, housed and transported, as well as how they are killed.
Abattoirs in England must meet welfare regulations, with separate rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and additional EU regulations.
Plans to make CCTV mandatory in all slaughterhouses are being considered by the Welsh government.
The government has said it plans to …