The Sustainable Food Trust and Campaign for Local Abattoirs welcome confirmation from government whip, Baroness Bloomfield, during the committee stages of the Agriculture Bill in the House of Lords on Thursday that, ‘The Government are committed to addressing the issues raised by [the All-Party Group on Animal Welfare’s] recent report on small abattoirs’. In particular, we welcome her further confirmation that slaughtering will be recognised as one of the ‘ancillary services’ eligible for funding under the Bill.

Following the publication of our report, A Good Life and A Good Death – re-localising farm animal slaughter, we have been campaigning for small abattoirs for over 2 years and during this time have had meetings with three Defra Ministers and regular meetings with civil servants in Defra. This is the first sign that the Government, which has long said animals should be slaughtered as close to the point of production as possible, is actually willing to help small abattoirs financially and stem the ongoing level of closures.

A dozen peers supported an amendment on small abattoirs tabled by Lord Trees and spoke passionately about the importance of local food systems and the critically important role small abattoirs play within these.

Patrick Holden, SFT chief executive said, ‘Much more needs to be done to ensure support actually materialises and that it is used in the most effective way. But this is a very important victory for common sense and should help to ensure that producers of high welfare, locally-produced meat from environmentally sustainable farms can continue marketing this direct to consumers.’

Click here to read our briefing for the House of Lords.

Click here to read more about our campaign.

For more information contact Megan Perry: megan@sustainablefoodtrust.org

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