Lesley Griffiths has today announced a new £1.1 million Food Business Investment scheme package of grant aid for small and medium sized slaughterhouses in Wales.
The package of support will enable these businesses to invest in improvements to ensure their resilience and their ability to continue to provide slaughtering facilities often in remote areas.
The grant aid will include both capital investment and provide advice on animal welfare, business improvement and technical matters. Welfare friendly infrastructure and facilities will be supported and also the installation and upgrading of CCTV monitoring systems.
The details of the grant scheme will be developed over the coming months, in consultation with the industry to ensure the support meets the needs of the sector. It will be launched before the summer recess.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“Safeguarding the health and welfare of farmed animals kept in Wales throughout their lives, up to and including the point of slaughter, is a high priority for me.
“Today, I am pleased to announce I will soon be launching a £1.1million Food Business Investment scheme package of grant aid specifically for small and medium sized slaughterhouses in Wales. This support will enable these businesses to invest in improvements so they become more resilient and are able to continue to provide slaughtering facilities.
“Small slaughterhouses support both short and local supply chains and provide processing facilities for small scale livestock producers and in doing so are good for animal welfare by reducing the distance travelled from farm to slaughterhouse. The slaughterhouse can be the first and last destination for animals leaving the farm and it is important that this transfer is as stress free as possible.
“The grant aid will also help these businesses install and upgrade CCTV monitoring systems. I want to assist businesses to put systems in place while legislating for CCTV in slaughterhouses is taking place in England. I want Wales’ slaughterhouses to be fully prepared as I continue to explore opportunities to legislate in the longer term.
“Work will now get underway with the industry to develop the scheme so that it is bespoke to their needs and I expect it to be launched before summer recess.
“Small slaughterhouses have survived well in Wales despite many challenges which has seen a steady decline in the numbers elsewhere in Britain. I want to assist their sustainability in Wales and to maintain high standards of animal welfare that will be beyond reproach.”