Guernsey abattoir waits for export opportunity

It could be up to six months before Guernsey’s new £1.7m abattoir will be able to export its meat.

The slaughterhouse is situated next to the old incinerator at Longue Hougue and has been working to full capacity since October 2013. It replaced the old abattoir which failed to meet European Union health regulations, resulting in meat exports being stopped. To apply for a European Union export licence the abattoir must be in full operation.

“The Longue Hougue plant has been operating at full capacity – taking cattle, pigs, and sheep without limitation since October 2013. There are now no age restrictions on cattle that can be handled, which is a major improvement for farmers and we have seen a sharp increase in the number of cattle handled,” explained a spokesperson for the Department of Commerce and Education in Guernsey.

“It is felt that there is considerable potential market for local meat as a great deal is imported each week. In particular, and as direct result of restrictions that started with the BSE crisis in the 1990s and have only been relaxed with the opening of the new slaughterhouse, there has been very limited availability of locally produced beef. In the absence of an export route, the local market has absorbed the more than 100% increase in beef coming from the new slaughterhouse in recent months.

“The capacity to export will open up potential sales routes for local farmers. Only time and financial analysis will tell whether they find this is of commercial value to them.

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