19 July 2002

Small abattoirs state their case

A GROUP of small abattoir owners are holding a meeting to help safeguard their future and to try and unite the meat industry so that it can lead the way in Europe.

The event, which is planned for Sept 1, is being organised by the Small Abattoirs Federation (SAFE), and chairman John Chadwick is hoping more than 700 people from the sector, including government agencies such as the Meat Hygiene Service, will attend. "The aim is to control European legislation instead of it controlling us."

He believes that the UK meat sector is not competing on a level playing field with foreign importers, who he says routinely ship meat of dubious quality into the country. "All meat should be inspected at the port of entry and the cost charged to the importer."

Mr Chadwick is also concerned that an £18m loss by the MHS last year is likely to be passed on to abattoirs in the form of new charges, something he reckons will put many smaller operations out of business. &#42