'Small abattoirs are essential for industry

27 Jun 2020

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By Adele Waters

Small abattoirs must be recognised as rural businesses and action is required to stop a ‘serious decline’ in their numbers.

That is the conclusion from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare’s recent investigation of abattoir provision in the UK.

The APGAW, a cross-party group of MPs and Lords, concluded that small or micro-abattoirs are essential to the UK sustaining a viable rural livestock industry.

Its report, ‘The Future for Small Abattoirs in the UK’, finds changing consumer attitudes means there is now scope for smaller producers and processors to grow.

There is growing recognition that low-cost meat can have long-term environmental impacts, it says, and consumers are increasingly concerned about – and prepared to pay for – high-quality, high-welfare meat. This is evidenced by the strong UK growth in farmers’ markets, meat box businesses and farm shops.

As a result, the group found that a...