Scotland is being urged to follow England's lead and make CCTV mandatory in all slaughterhouses.

The Scottish Government came under pressure to make the installation of cameras in abattoirs compulsory - although ministers say 95% of animals are killed in sites which have installed such equipment voluntarily.

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced CCTV is to become mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England as part of plans to safeguard animal welfare and reassure consumers.

He said the proposals would ''cement the UK's position as a global leader on animal welfare'' by giving the Food Standards Agency's official veterinarians - those who monitor and enforce standards - unrestricted access to footage of all areas containing livestock.

Any breaches by a slaughterhouse can result in a welfare enforcement notice, the suspending or revoking of staff licences or a possible criminal investigation.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said ministers had already recommended the installation of CCTV "best practice in the monitoring of animals at the time of killing".

She stated: "We do not consider CCTV, by itself, prevents welfare failures or secures welfare compliance, and continue to monitor animal welfare at time of slaughter through the presence of Food Standards Scotland staff in all approved slaughterhouses. We will, however, carefully consider the responses to the consultation on this in England."

However, Green MSP Alison Johnstone insisted CCTV in abattoirs was an "essential" measure to improve welfare.

She also argued the change would help "repair" Scotland's reputation on animal issues after MSPs ended the outright ban that had been in place on taildocking, when they voted in favour of exemptions for some working dogs.

Ms Johnstone said: "If this Government wants to repair its reputation on animal welfare, it will legislate for CCTV to be installed in all slaughterhouses and mobile abattoirs to improve the welfare conditions of Scotland's farm animals.

"It's essential that the cameras are situated at sites of stunning and killing, and not only in packing areas, for example."

The Lothian MSP added: "Scotland prides itself on high quality produce and consumers would not wish to support businesses where animals have not been treated with care and respect. The Scottish Government is now giving the impression that it doesn't see animal welfare as a priority and that it's content that welfare standards in England are better than here."

Her calls were backed by the animal protection charity OneKind, whose director Harry Huyton said: "Scotland must not be left behind when it comes to farm animal welfare.

"If anything we should be taking the lead. So today we are redoubling our calls on the Scottish Government to introduce mandatory CCTV in all of Scotland's 35 abattoirs."

Mr Huyton argued: "CCTV provides an important safeguard and helps protect both the animals and staff in slaughterhouses.

"It's cheap, simple and effective. We are confident that the Scottish Government will be listening to the many voices calling for mandatory installation.

"As always, the devil will be in the detail. Most slaughterhouses already use CCTV to varying extents. The key thing is to mandate it in all parts of the slaughterhouse, wherever live animals are to be seen, and to put in arrangements to ensure that the footage is available to official vets and independently monitored."