Part of email received 16th August 2006 in response to item below
How right the web page is with regards to the small abattiors.
In Preston there is only one small family run slaughter house round this area, two large ones do cattle and sheep, but the people that do farmers markets take their stock to them. We take pigs in to them, and they use them for hog roasts as they always complain that they do not have enough fat on them. I have spent thousands on genetic's to get rid of it. The next place is about 45 miles away in Knutsford in Cheshire that will kill and cut them up for you. ...
Some of the local pig people send through another group and these have to make their way down to Norfolk. It only takes one crash or hold up for several hours and the pigs will fret pounds of flesh off, and meat quality also suffers. Just think of all the fuel and time on the motorways. Have we gone mad?
When we first came to Mid Fylde and up to several years ago there was a small place in the next village whose two sons did the killing and had done it for years. It was tiled floors and walls and always won awards etc for the butcher's shop. One week as the two worked, 4 inspectors watched them, and later their boss came also, to inspect the inspectors. The place was out of this world. He only killed young stock, no cows or bulls etc.
The next week he closed the place - leaving all the local farmers that used him with having to find new outlets. Now there are about 15 houses on the place, and no hassle from meat inspectors....
Aug 16 2006 ~ Remaining small abattoirs under threat (again)
Small local abattoirs in the UK - those that still remain after questionnable regulations have closed three quarters of UK slaughterhouses in the past 15 years - provide jobs in rural communities, minimise animal welfare problems and shorten the distances that animals are sent by lorry on their last journey. Smaller abattoirs are central to the drive to get people to buy locally-reared and locally processed meat. What is more, the existence of local abattoirs make the illegal trade in "dirty meat" far less likely. However, Foodproductiondaily.com reports today that proposed increases in vets' inspection fees could bring an end to small abattoirs in the UK . It quotes FPB spokesman Matt Hardman:
"The problem is the interpretation of the EU legislation where they [the UK government] basically gold-plated the situation," said Hardman. "Instead of a literal translation, where the EU asks for veterinarians, we have veterinary surgeons which are more costly."
"..... Full rates for a veterinarian surgeon are usually around £90 ( 133) an hour. Currently, small abattoirs pay a fixed fee for the inspection of individual animals. This would be a significant setback for the 230-odd small abattoirs across the UK. ..."Mr Hardman goes on to say, if the standards are to be changed it should be to the benefit of all. If that means lightening the load on larger abattoirs then it should be done for the survival of smaller abattoirs.
As Muckspreader said back in 2004 : "... Some of the best-quality meat still on the market will no longer be there to buy. And the only people rejoicing will be the supermarkets, who will have knocked out yet another tranche of their smaller competitors; and of course the regulators....." (read in full)
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