Eustice wrong to say small abattoir network is sufficient

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Campaigners demanding support for small, local abattoirs amid changes to livestock journey times have criticised Defra secretary George Eustice’s claims this is not needed.

Mr Eustice suggested at the recent Groundswell event that the UK has a broad distribution of abattoirs that will meet farmers’ needs.

Yet a third of small abattoirs have closed in the past 10 years and, with only 62 now left, livestock must be transported for longer distances.

Christopher Price, chief executive of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, has written to Mr Eustice pointing out that abattoir availability is one of the biggest challenges for livestock farmers with native breeds.

“Even if there is an abattoir within a reasonable distance, many of the larger-scale ones are single-species, whereas producers with rare and native breeds often rely on a mixed farming system with several farmed species to make their farming business viable,” said Mr Price.

Many abattoirs don’t accept small numbers, slaughter cattle over 30 months or accept horned cattle and large pigs.



by Debbie James / Farmers Weekly

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