Charges put Hants abattoir future in doubt
THE NFU in the south east has expressed fears that the only abattoir in Hampshire is under threat because of increased Meat Hygiene Service inspection charges.
Turners at Farnborough has been asked to pay for an extra MHS vet to supervise operations after a dispute with the existing on-site vet.
Plant owner Mark Newman is appealing against the decision.
William White, NFU south east policy adviser said the viability of the abattoir was threatened by the extra cost burden.
"As I see it there are two options: Either the extra costs will be passed on to farmers using the plant by way of higher charges or the unthinkable will happen – the plant will close.
"Livestock farmers are hardly in a position to readily absorb extra charges and the possibility of the plant closing is a nightmare scenario for the 300 or so farmers using the plant," said Mr White.
Margaret Dearnley from Burpham Court Farm Park in Guilford said she would be worried if the plant was to close. "We are concerned we will have nowhere to dispose of our animals. It is a smaller abattoir that caters for smaller producers."
A spokesman for the MHS said appeals were pending in relation to assorted issues and until they were concluded the MHS was unable to comment further. *