Abattoir owners have been asked to share economic data on their businesses to form an accurate picture of viability across the sector.
Information will be gathered through an anonymous survey run by the University of Newcastle.
The findings will be used to identify what steps can be taken to help prevent smaller abattoirs from closing and unlock support from statutory and other funding bodies.
Managers and owners from plants of all sizes are encouraged to get involved. The deadline for responses is 5pm on 31 August 2020.
The initiative is backed by Prince Charles’ rural charity, The Prince’s Countryside Fund, and is part of a bid to help smaller units continue trading.
A fund spokesman said 12 small abattoirs had closed in the past 18 months.
Others were vulnerable to closure because they could not invest in their plant, equipment, and staff, the spokesman added.
The University of Newcastle stressed that the five- to 10-minute survey was entirely anonymous, with no business names required.
Responses will be aggregated with others for analysis, so it will not be possible to identify individual responses in the final report, the university explained.