Review call for Welsh abattoir reforms
Published:  01 June, 2010

A National Assembly for Wales report has called for a review of how legislation governing abattoirs is implemented in Wales.

The cross-party Rural Development Sub-Committee conducted an inquiry into animal welfare and meat hygiene after a presentation of its findings.

In particular the Committee is concerned about a threat to the subsidies that are currently provided to Welsh abattoirs and slaughterhouses by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Rural Development Sub-Committee chair Rhodri Glyn Thomas said: “The evidence presented to the Committee suggested that all but three of Wales’ abattoirs would disappear if these subsidies do not continue in one form or another.

“We also heard from farmers who are worried that any additional costs from trying to cover the subsidies gap would be handed on to them.

“I would urge the Welsh Government to set up a review group with members from all parts of the meat industry to examine legislation and any possible reforms within the current EU framework.”

The Committee has made eight recommendations within its report, calling on the Welsh Government to use all means at its disposal to prevent the FSA from implementing full cost recovery and removing its subsidy to the industry until an alternative mechanism for subsidising the cost of controls had been put in place.

It has also called on the Welsh Government develop a mechanism for subsidising the industry that will secure the future of Welsh abattoirs, with support being prioritised for small and medium-sized operations, which serve local markets.

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