AN EMERGENCY fund must be created to protect local abattoirs – and the family farms that depend upon them – from being destroyed in the rush to ever larger economies of scale.
That was the conclusion of a report published this week by Westminster’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, which described small abattoirs as an ‘essential link’ in the farm-to-fork chain for local meat, and a crucial part of the UK’s overall agricultural infrastructure.
Campaigners for high-standard local food warmly welcomed the APPG’s findings, and agreed that it was time for the government to commit cash to protect local abattoirs from closure, and put some money behind its own stated commitment to local, environmentally friendly food and farming.
Speaking from Keep Scotland The Brand, Ruth Watson said: “Local abattoirs are a crucial part of a community’s infrastructure. They are important for animal welfare, make traditional small scale farming viable and keep a short supply food chain, important not just for the carbon footprint of food miles but for enabling meaningful farm to fork connections. The profitability of abattoirs should not just be measured at the front door but with an eye on the economic and social effects of the facility on the wider community.”