Cornwall’s only abattoir licensed to slaughter older cattle has been forced to close due to rising regulation and red tape.

Madron Meat Company, based near Penzance, has been slaughtering up to 500 cattle a week under the Older Cattle Disposal Scheme.

But increased regulation alongside a declining beef sector mean it will stop slaughtering on January 18, with the loss of 18 jobs.

“We are seeing a decline in the livestock industry and would be asked to carry out so many improvements by the Environment Agency, Meat Hygiene Service and Food Standards Agency going forward, that it is completely unviable,” said managing director Terry Hawkes.

“We just can’t put up with the rules, regulations and red tape any longer.”

The nearest OCDS abattoir is Southern Counties Fresh Foods’ plant at Langport, Somerset.