Shadow Minister welcomes study to prevent closure of small abattoirs

The Welsh Conservative’s Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Energy and Rural Affairs – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today (28 July) urged abattoirs across Wales to contribute to a viability study being conducted into the sector. Her calls come as it is revealed that firms will benefit from public funding under terms of the UK Government’s new Agriculture Bill.

The study, conducted by Newcastle University and funded by the Prince of Wales’ Countryside Fund, aims to identify what steps can be taken to help prevent smaller abattoirs from closing. The study comes after the closure of 12 small abattoirs during the past 18 months. 

Speaking of the study, Janet said:  

“It is a most sad fact that, despite abattoirs working to reduce food miles and bolster local economies, their numbers have fallen by a third over the last decade. With this in mind, I welcome the news that small abattoirs are set to benefit from public funding under the terms of the UK’s new Agriculture Bill. 

"This money will support the sector as it looks to make necessary and wide ranging changes to protect its long-term viability. After all, these firms help support our nation's producers of high-welfare meat at a time of continued competitive challenge.

“However, policy decisions on monetary distribution must be informed by data. It is clear that the findings of this new nationwide viability study will be used to better identify what steps can be taken to help prevent smaller abattoirs from closing, and will inform how support is provided in the years ahead. 

“I urge the owners and managers of abattoirs across Wales to consider filling out this anonymous survey so that its aggregated results may better inform policy in Cardiff Bay and beyond. This cross-sector, data-led approach is necessary to safeguard this sector’s future and protect jobs.” 

ENDS 

Notes for Editors: