Stability seen in pig abattoirs

The long-term trend of the declining number of abattoirs slaughtering pigs in England may be stabilising, according to research by AHDB Pork. 

Latest figures from the trade body showed that 116 slaughterhouses killed pigs in 2015, one more than in 2014 and less than 10 fewer than in 2010.

However, the number was around 70 fewer than in 2000. This reduction has been attributed by AHDB Pork to the increasing consolidation of the industry. The research found that the 13 largest plants, each of which slaughtered more than 100,000 head, accounted for over 90% of total slaughterings for the first time.

The top eight abattoirs in the country also made up over three-quarters of the English kill.

The AHDB Pork study also revealed there were only 14 specialist pig abattoirs in England last year, but that they accounted for over 70% of slaughterings during the year. Six of the eight largest plants, in terms of the number of pigs killed, were specialist ones.

The most recent Plimsoll analysis of the entire UK abattoir industry found that 22 abattoir businesses out of the 114 studied were found to be in danger while 34 businesses were “ripe for takeover”.

The Plimsoll research also found that 15 of the 114 abattoirs had seen their overall value fall by more than a quarter over the past 12 months, while 54 companies had seen an increase in value over the year.

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