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.
I was very pleased to read this. I'm not particularly an animal lover but I think they should be treated and slaughtered humanely with as little stress as possible. As we know, there are certain sections of society who, for religious reason want to kill animals by slitting their throats and letting them bleed to death rather than by our method of stunning them first. We need to ensure that all animals suffer as little as possible. Hopefully this will stop the ill treatment that sometimes goes on in abattoirs and other places animals are kept.
There are videos made by animal rights activists on YouTube but I'm sure that no one would want to watch them anyway. Suffice to say, CCTV in all abattoirs and other places animals are kept will hopefully stamp out any cruelty.