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Volume 929: debated on Thursday 7 April 1977

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what is the total number of abattoirs in the United Kingdom at the present time; and how many were licensed at the time of United Kingdom entry into the EEC;(2) how many of the existing United Kingdom abattoirs meet the standards laid down by the EEC;(3) What effect on employment in British abattoirs is expected if EEC standards relating to slaughterhouses are introduced.

There are at present 1,525 public and private abattoirs: there were 1,844 on 1st January 1973. The declining trend in total numbers has been in evidence for several years. Seventy five slaughterhouses are approved for export to other EEC countries. It is not possible to say how many more might qualify for approval if the operators were to apply. I know of no present proposals either here or in Brussels to apply EEC requirements to abattoirs producing meat solely for the domestic market.