The following table shows, as at September 2006, the number of abattoirs in England approved or authorised to serve the cattle, the sheep or the poultry sectors. The figures indicate the number of abattoirs approved or authorised to slaughter each species, some slaughter more than one species.
Species slaughtered Number of abattoirs Cattle 205 Sheep 214 Poultry 95
Number of abattoirs
[holding answer 24 October 2006]: There are 55 plants in England registered to process organic meat. Forty-five are red meat slaughterhouses, 38 are red meat cutting plants, six are white meat slaughterhouses, 10 are white meat cutting plants and seven deal with meat preparation. The majority of cutting plants are co-located with the slaughterhouses.
This number excludes meat processors registered on the license of an organic producer.
[holding answer 24 October 2006]: There are currently 246 red meat abattoirs and 95 poultry meat abattoirs authorised to operate in England. Of these, 233 red meat and 82 poultry meat abattoirs were operating during the month of September 2006. A number of abattoirs may not be operating at any one time for a variety of reasons, such as seasonal operation, refurbishment or commercial reasons.
The hon. Gentleman will recall the answer I gave to him on 14 July 2006, Official Report, column 2173W. This noted that the number of slaughterhouses in England has fallen in recent years, reflecting a longer-term trend for consolidation, and that the Government recognise the importance of an adequate network of slaughterhouses to ensure that all sustainable production needs can continue to be met. I also refer my hon. Friend again to the answer given by my predecessor on 9 November 2005, Official Report, column 476W.