Rare Breeds Survival Trust Chief Executive Christopher Price has responded to today’s announcement from Government of the opening of the Small Abattoir Fund:

Rare Breeds Survival Trust Chief Executive Christopher Price said: “A comprehensive network of local abattoirs able to process small numbers of non-standard animals and return both the carcass and by-products, is vital for native breed farmers supplying their high quality, sustainable produce into their local food chains and beyond. But over the past few decades as a result of increasing costs and regulations this network has been in sustained, serious decline. 

“Today’s launch of the Small Abattoir Fund offers a lifeline for these facilities to ensure they are match fit for an increasingly market-facing world through, for example, investing in digital opportunities that can help reduce running costs, and up to date capital equipment to improve productivity. 

“RBST has been arguing that there is little point in Government investing in the future of sustainable livestock farming without also investing in the infrastructure, such as the abattoir network on which it depends. But whilst the launch of the Small Abattoir Fund is very welcome and important action from Government on this issue, it is not a silver bullet. The local abattoir network also needs to see Government tackle the issues around the regulatory burden smaller abattoirs face. In particular, Government needs to be looking at the opportunities to address concerns regarding the quality, cost and consistency of Official Vet supervision.”