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Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to publish the action plan to support small and medium- sized abattoirs and slaughterhouses. [128331]

The steps we are taking to help ensure there is a network of abattoirs and meat cutting plants complement our wider "Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food'' which was published on 12 December 2002. Currently, in co-operation with the Meat and Livestock Commission and the Meat Hygiene Service, we are compiling data on the slaughtering and meat supply industry to help us develop a strategic approach. Compilation and analysis is expected to be complete by mid October and data suitable for the public domain will be published thereafter.