Extract

....the Swedish system where there are local abbatoirs, no imports, no exports, local movements, more organic and same price.

The problem is more complicated than it appears on the surface to most people. The fact that your compensation will not match your investment, the fact that Uk's hands are tied on imports as trade agreements are bound by law is terrible. I spoke to Bernard Mathews, Asda, Safeway and TEsco last year about why they should not support the domestic lamb market and the concensus of opinion was that the packing industry was not willing to provide the cuts of lamb, and they didn't want the unfinished carcass. I've still got the letters and am going to produce a pack which I will be send to NFU/Defra.

What I am also concerned about is the method of slaughter. Defra's own guidance and the Humane Slaughter Assoc. both state that young lambs should not be slaughtered with captive bolt as their skulls are still soft and will not provide the concussive affect. I am going to check with the HSA later from what stage in the animals life the captive bolt can be used.

I think that there should be some major campaigning to bring in more meat packing industry to take on the domestic market and then supply to supermarkets - it seems illogical that NZ lamb with all the transport costs included is easier for the end market to source and cheaper to buy. There are apparently Eu grants available to provide meat packing training/investment here. As far as Bernard Mathews were concerned and I have this in writing, they approached 7 Uk suppliers and were either laughed at or never got a quotation.

There is also the drop in animal welfare standards to be considered once the Uk lambs leave our shores.

There is a considerable debate at the moment towards a Swedish system where there are local abbatoirs, no imports, no exports, local movements, more organic and same price.