22 October 2001
St Merryn shuts Lincolnshire abattoir

By Wendy Owen, north-east England correspondent

ST MERRYN MEAT has confirmed that it is closing its abattoir at Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire, saying that the plant is no longer viable.

A company spokesman said the site was being mothballed, blaming the foot-and-mouth crisis and strict meat hygiene regulations for its demise.

Increased cattle throughput had been needed to meet rising costs, but this would have meant installing extra refrigeration capacity, he added.

The spokesman said circumstances surrounding the closure were unique and the companys other abattoirs would be unaffected.

Some 38 employees based at in Skellingthorpe are in discussion with management and some will be transferred to other centres, he said.

St Merryns marketing director, Phil Reed, said the decision had “come as no great surprise” to farmers in the region.

He expected that many producers would now send their cattle to the companys other abattoirs.

Up to its closure, Skellingthorpe had been killing up to 700 cattle each week, dealing with livestock from the east coast and north of England.

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