It is just one of many small abattoirs which has closed in recent decades, and its closure will significantly impact the 200 farmers who relied on Mettrick’s for slaughtering their animals.
The continued decline in abattoir numbers is an ongoing concern for many NFU members. The lack of local slaughter facilities can prevent farmers from adding value by selling direct to the consumer, or through other small scale marketing initiatives such as farm shops or boxed meat business.
NFU chief livestock adviser John Royle said: “Having a genuine mix of scale and a geographical spread of abattoir businesses within the marketplace is vitally important as it helps to drive competition and maintain a fully functioning market. It also helps secure fair returns for the livestock produced.
“We must find a way to retain a range of options so the many consumers who wish to buy from local, independent businesses can continue to do so, and neither farmers nor shoppers lose out.”
NFU chief livestock adviser John Royle
Hampered by bureaucracy
“However, bureaucracy is hampering small businesses and when combined with rising operating costs, the opportunity to run a profitable small abattoir just gets harder and harder.
“It’s a real shame that this facility has closed. We must find a way to retain a range of options so the many consumers who wish to buy from local, independent businesses can continue to do so, and neither farmers nor shoppers lose out.
“Ultimately, we want to see genuine competition and a variety of options for producers to market their livestock.”