Government support for abattoirs welcomed by the sector

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

The Government has pledged funding for small abattoirs
The Government has pledged funding for small abattoirs

Related tags Meat & Seafood

Government funding for small abattoirs has been welcomed by the industry as fears mount over the rapid decline of businesses operating in the sector.

Farming minister Mark Spencer yesterday (21 February) unveiled Government plans to introduce funding to promote innovation, enhance productivity and improve animal health and welfare in smaller abattoirs.

Speaking at the National Farmers Union (NFU) conference, Spencer said abattoirs were key to the food supply chain and there was clearly a need to support smaller providers in this area.

‘Crucial to the economy’

“A network of smaller abattoirs distributed around the country is crucial to supporting the rural economy, enabling farmers to sell their own meat in farm shops and maintaining good animal health and welfare through reduced journey times to slaughter,” he added.

The news was welcomed by the Sustainable Food Trust (SFT) – co-founders of the Abattoir Sector Group – who hoped the funding could help reverse a recent ‘catastrophic decline in abattoirs in the Britain.

Data from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) revealed the number of red meat Abattoirs in England fell 7% from 2019 to 2021 (165-151). SFT warned that if this decline were to continue at there current rate, there would be none operating by 2030.  

Willingness to listen’

Megan Perry, head of policy and campaigns at the SFT said: “We are grateful to the Ministers and government officials who have shown a willingness to listen to those from industry and understand the important role that abattoirs play.

“Funding will be vital to help the small abattoirs modernise and thrive. Their services are the cornerstone of sustainable, local meat supply chains.”

The new funding will be announced in full later this year, with little extra detail provided by Spencer on the specifics. However, he did mention the funding would support the rearing of rare and native breeds, encourage rural employment and safeguard the supply chain through a ‘diverse and productive’ abattoir sector.

Related topics Meat, poultry & seafood Operations

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