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Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the likely costs to (a) farmers and (b) abattoirs of the implementation of the EU regulations that require slaughterhouses to appoint an animal welfare officer; what assessment he has made of the effect of these regulations on the profitability of abattoirs; and if he will make a statement. (246812)

The European Commission published proposals for a regulation on the protection of animals at the time of killing on 22 September 2008. This includes proposals to require the appointment of an Animal Welfare Officer in every abattoir over a minimum size. An EU impact assessment was published alongside the proposal and this is available on the European Commission website.

A UK impact assessment is currently being prepared. This will consider the costs and benefits of the proposed regulation including the cost to farmers and abattoirs. The impact assessment will be included with the consultation document on the proposed regulation which will be published in early 2009. This will provide an opportunity for those affected by the proposed regulation to give their views and to comment on the assumptions used to assess its impact.