Eustice refuses to offer support for local abattoir network

Defra Secretary George Eustice has been accused of ‘missing the point’ on slaughterhouse investment, after he suggested no local abattoir network policy was needed to accommodate Government plans for shorter livestock journeys.

Last week, the Government launched an eight-week consultation on improving animal welfare in transport, which included proposals to cut maximum journey times and ban live exports.

But on Tuesday (November 8), Mr Eustice refused to offer much-needed support for smaller abattoirs in order to meet these aims.

Speaking to MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, he suggested supermarkets which stipulate animals must be sent to a particular slaughterhouse would need to change their supply chain policies in order to ‘accommodate the law’, but added: “We have looked at where all the slaughterhouses are, species by species, and then considered hypothetically how quickly farms in many different parts of the country could get animals to the slaughterhouse.

 

by Abi Kay

China suspends importation of more Australian beef as trade battle escalates

China has suspended the importation of more Australian beef, this time from Meramist Pty Ltd, the sixth supplier to face such a move in a country that is one of China’s main meat suppliers.

China made the decision yesterday but did not provide a reason.

It has already banned imports from five other Australian beef suppliers this year, citing reasons that have included issues with labelling and health certificates.

Australia’s ties with China – its top trade partner – were already strained. The relationship has significantly deteriorated since Canberra called for an enquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.

China stopped receiving applications and registration for beef exports from the Meramist plant from 7 December, China’s General Administration of Customs said in a notice on its website, without giving a reason.

Mike Eathorne, the general manager of Meramist, told the ABC last night he had only just received the news.

“I was advised five minutes ago and I have been given absolutely no reasons,” he said, adding he could not comment further.

 

Reuters /ABC

Brexit: Lambs to the slaughter

  • Brexit talks have been passed back to negotiators, with little sign of progress from the UK and EU leadership, and with no deal getting worryingly close for exporters.
  • Sheep meat is one sector facing particularly high tariffs – put there to protect British and other European farmers, but now the UK will be outside the EU fortress.
  • Even with a tariff-free deal, there will be high extra costs for animal produce going to Europe, involving certification, queues and border checks.

Remember spring? If you were lucky enough to get out to somewhere rural, you probably saw some cute lambs a-gambolling.

Well, it’s not looking good for them now. They’ve put on some weight, and are less cute. Or they were. This has been the slaughtering season.

About a third of Scottish lamb goes for export, and 98% of that is to the European Union. French chefs highly value uplands-grazed lamb.

There’s a metaphor somewhere in there for the Brexit talks.

But for sheep farmers, this isn’t metaphor. This is their future. The average tariff on sheep meat is 48%. It is not a flat rate: instead, there’s a fee per kilo and a percentage of the value.

And the more it is butchered and processed, the higher the tariff on entering the European Union.

by Douglas Fraser