We would greatly appreciate it if you would write to your MP (find out who here), asking them to consider supporting Amendment 49 to the Agriculture Bill, which would see small abattoirs included in the list of public goods that can receive public money. The date for discussion in parliament has not been decided yet, but it is vital that as many MPs as possible are made aware of the amendment, and its importance in maintaining a network of small abattoirs. The amendment reads as follows:

*Clause 1, page 2, line 8, at end insert – 
“(h) maintaining a network of micro-abattoirs which provide slaughtering services for locally produced and marketed meat.”
Explanatory statement: This amendment would enable the Secretary of State to provide financial assistance in relation to micro-abattoirs.

If you are happy to write to your MP in your own words, we would advise including the following:

  • Outline what amendment 49 is calling for, and attach a copy of the text – click here to download
  • Briefly outline why small abattoirs are so important for local meat production and marketing, animal welfare, and the environment, and outline the problems they are facing
  • Attach a copy of the SFT briefing on small abattoirs – click here to download
  • If you would like a response from your MP, make sure to include your name, address and telephone number

Alternatively, feel free to use or adapt the template provided below:

“Dear…,

I am writing to you as a constituent, to ask whether you would consider supporting the small abattoir amendment (no.49) to the Agriculture Bill (attached below), which seeks to add small abattoirs to the list of public goods that can receive public money.

This is a hugely significant issue, not just for the livestock industry but society as a whole. Maintaining a network of small abattoirs is extremely important for animal welfare and environmental reasons as it reduces the distance that both live animals and carcase meat have to be transported.  It is also essential for the viability of local meat production, marketing, and the less intensive production systems which this underpins. 

However, if it is left to market forces alone small abattoirs will continue to close and more and more regions will be left without local slaughtering facilities.  The industry suffers from very low profitability – currently, 11% of small abattoirs are losing money and a further 40% are struggling to break even.  There are now only about 100 small abattoirs left in England and Wales, with a further 7 closing in 2018 and more closures threatened.

Our small abattoirs are a vital resource that urgently require governmental assistance: by signing this amendment, you would help to ensure their continued survival.  For further information, please see the Sustainable food Trust’s parliamentary briefing, attached below.

Yours sincerely…”

This is obviously an issue of huge importance, and it is crucial that we maintain pressure on politicians at this late stage to ensure that small abattoirs are firmly on the agenda. Your help in raising awareness of the amendment would be greatly appreciated and may make all the difference.

Thank you for your help and continued support,

CFLA team

 

Photograph: 

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