House of Lords to debate small abattoir survival

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FINANCIAL support for small abattoirs is to be raised in the House of Lords by a new amendment tabled for the UK Agricultural Bill.

Amendment number 87, tabled by Lord Trees, Baroness Ann Mallalieu, Baroness Jones of Whitchurch and Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, seeks to add the word ‘slaughtering’ to the list of ancillary services eligible for Government support.

This amendment would, ‘enable assistance to be given in an appropriate case to a licensed abattoir which, for example, provides a private kill service or enables slaughtering facilities in an area otherwise without adequate provision,’ according to the Member’s explanatory statement.

Small abattoirs are essential in the supply chain of high quality, fully traceable British meat – however there are now just 62 left in the UK. In the last year alone, there were seven closures, leaving parts of the country lacking the provision of a local abattoir.

The Sustainable Food Trust has urged the Lords to ‘save local abattoirs’ by supporting the tabled amendment: “Retaining and enhancing our network of small local abattoirs in the UK is of critical importance for the future of sustainable local food systems and the survival of family farms,” said CEO Patrick Holden. “Small abattoirs enable farmers to sell direct to consumers and therefore add value to their products: this supports, in particular, smaller scale farming systems, rare breeds, organic and pasture-fed livestock. However, for reasons largely beyond their control, many are going out of business and are in need of support,” he concluded.


by Claire Taylor

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