Regulations put smaller abattoirs in real danger

More than one-third of red meat abattoirs in England are at risk of closure due to the “gold plating” of EU regulations, according to the Forum of Private Business – a lobby group representing 25,000 small businesses.

“Small abattoirs are in great peril because of the Food Standards Agency’s inflexible interpretation of the EU”s regulation,” said food spokesman Bob Salmon. “In particular, it is imposing tough rulings on building modifications which small businesses simply cannot afford.”


Mr Salmon was leading a delegation of abattoir owners to Brussels this week to check which parts of EU legislation were absolutely essential. “The clear message we got was that there is plenty of flexibility.”

But a spokeswoman for the FSA denied that the agency”s inspectors were over-zealous. “We are moving from the old Meat Hygiene regulations, which were very prescriptive, to the new Hygiene of Foodstuffs regulations, which are more general.”