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Local abattoir network verging on collapse, report finds
The closure of local abattoirs is bad for animal welfare and bad for the environment.
Closures mean livestock has to be transported further for slaughter

The UK’s network of small local abattoirs is verging on collapse, according to a report by the Sustainable Food Trust (SFT).

The organisation says that unless the government takes urgent action, consumer choice will suffer because the marketing of locally-produced, traceable meat will no longer be feasible. This is because of the closure of many smaller, local abattoirs and the cost of transporting livestock further for slaughter.

According to the report, the number of small abattoirs in England has declined by 34 per cent in the last decade, from 96 to 63. Reasons for the closures include a high burden of regulation, falling cattle numbers and the low and sometimes negative profitability on the sector.

In response to its findings, the SFT has made three recommendations regarding the current crisis:

    •    a government statement of support recognising the importance of local meat processing plants

    •    the introduction of mobile red meat abattoirs to enable on-farm slaughtering in an economically viable way

    •    the establishment of an independent task force to undertake an urgent review to establish why small abattoirs are closing.

Richard Young, policy director of the SFT and co-author of the report, said that local abattoirs play a vital role in all rural communities where farm animals are kept.

“When they close, both animals and meat have to be transported much further. This is bad for animal welfare and bad for the environment. It also threatens the ongoing renaissance of local food cultures,” he said.

Phil Stocker, chief executive of the National Sheep Association added: “This timely report draws attention to the rapidly changing and complex crisis facing smaller local abattoirs and those who depend on them. I truly hope that government and industry will work together to offer a long-term future for our diminishing network of local abattoirs before it is too late.”

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New single-dose RHD-2 vaccine launched

News Story 1
 The first monovalent vaccine to be registered in Europe for the prevention of rabbit hemorrhagic disease type 2 (RHD-2) has been launched by animal health firm HIPRA.

ERAVAC is a single-dose injectable emulsion that can be administered without the need for reconstitution beforehand. The new presentation contains 10 vials with individual doses that can be given to companion rabbits from 30 days of age. 

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New canine and feline dentistry manual announced

A new canine and feline dentistry and oral surgery manual has been published by the BSAVA. Announcing the news on its website, the BSAVA said this latest edition contains new step-by-step operative techniques, together with full-colour illustrations and photographs.

‘This is a timely publication; veterinary dentistry is a field that continues to grow in importance for the general veterinary practitioner,’ the BSAVA said. ‘The manual has been fully revised and updated to include the most relevant, evidence-based techniques.’

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry and Oral Surgery, 4th edition is available to purchase from www.bsava.com/shop