New Clause 23 - Local abattoir networks

Part of Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:15 pm ar 18 Tachwedd 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Neil Hudson Neil Hudson Ceidwadwyr, Penrith and The Border 2:15, 18 Tachwedd 2021

I echo some of the comments of the hon. Member for Cambridge. I am glad that he referred to the EFRA Committee report. I am a member of that Committee. Based on our findings on the movement of animals across borders, one of our key recommendations was that the UK local abattoir network needed supporting and bolstering, and we recommended that the Government look at that. If we improve the local abattoir network it will actually mitigate a lot of the animal welfare issues related to long-distance transport, because distances will be shorter and animals will be reared locally and slaughtered locally and the food will be purchased and eaten locally—something that we are all pushing for. I know that Ministers agree with me that that is a positive thing that we should try to move towards.

I support the thrust of the new clause from the hon. Member for Cambridge, and I very much hope the Government will listen to him and to the EFRA Committee’s recommendations. I would welcome it if the Minister could give us some assurances that the Government will look at this issue to support and bolster the abattoir network. As the hon. Member mentioned, the situation is becoming acute, and I mentioned the pig situation in the Chamber. We need to make sure that the abattoir system is functioning, both for our food security and for animal welfare. That includes both veterinary and butcher capacity. This is a chance for the Government to give us some assurances and specifics on how they will look at this moving forward.