14 September 2001

Abattoir for light lambs

THE Welsh Meat Company began operating its own abattoir this week, but only for light lambs entered into the governments welfare disposal scheme.

In a joint venture with the previous owners, the 540-member co-operative has re-opened Caerfagu Abattoir at Nantmel in Powys. In just two weeks about £200,000 has been invested in a refurbished slaughter hall and a modern sheep line. But because slaughtered lambs will go to landfill sites for now, only part of it will be used for the stun and bleed operation.

The co-ops directors have reassured farmer investors that building work will continue so the whole set-up can be licensed to kill sheep for human consumption. They anticipate having an export licence by the time the 2002 crop of lambs comes off the farms of mid-Wales.

John Davies, a director who farms 20 miles from the plant, says it makes sense to have a fairly high capacity slaughtering facility in the area with the greatest concentration of sheep in the UK. &#42