Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

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.”

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Charity reveals it treated thousands of pets with dental issues last year

News Story 1
 Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has revealed that its veterinary team performs dental procedures on more than 170 animals every month. Last year the charity says it extracted hundreds of teeth from more than 800 animals and carried out thousands of routine scales and polishes.

To combat the problem, Battersea is urging pet owners to get regular dental checks at their vets, implement a daily oral care routine, feed a good dental chew and only give toys that are designed for dogs, including gentle rubber toys that are less wearing on the teeth. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Voting opens for RCVS council elections

Eligible veterinary surgeons can now vote in this year’s RCVS Council elections. Four out of the 10 candidates are already on council and are standing for re-election: David Catlow, Mandisa Greene, Neil Smith, Susan Paterson. The remaining six candidates are not currently on council: John C Davies, Karlien Heyman, John Innes, Thomas Lonsdale, Matthew Plumtree and Iain Richards.

Further information on the candidates can be found on the RCVS website: