APGAW has released a report following an inquiry looking into the provision of abattoirs after concerns were raised that large numbers of small abattoirs had closed taking away options for slaughter for small scale farmers and forcing them to use large processing plants.
The report can be read here and makes a number of recommendations to sustain small abattoirs as a choice for farmers, including:
Small abattoirs contributing to the public goods of animal welfare and environmental benefits should be recognised and eligible for capital payments in any future agricultural support framework.
Government should ensure that public bodies and, in particular, economic partnerships or forums see small abattoirs as essential infrastructure supporting the rural economy.
Funding waste disposal or re-usage technology within small abattoirs should be included in the Government’s criteria for capital payments under environmental schemes and integrated with initiatives such as the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
Government should consider low capacity abattoirs processing under 1,000 LSUs and running alongside other farming and processing activities being deemed agricultural buildings with respect to business rates and building control, subject of course to planning conditions necessary for local community protection
Lord Trees, co-chairman of the All-Party Group for Animal Welfare which conducted the inquiry, said;
“We urge Government to recognise the critical role small abattoirs play in the farming industry and to take immediate action to prevent further closures. Small abattoirs support local production of food, benefiting animal welfare with shorter journeys and enabling the return of the product to the farmer, providing food provenance, consumer choice and the opportunity to add value. This supports the Government’s agenda to end long-distance transport for animals, tackle climate change, and help livestock farmers, especially in upland areas, to be economically self-sustaining.