Many specialist meats could disappear if new regulations applying to abattoirs are implemented, the Forum of Private Business has warned.
The pressure group said that the Food Standards Agency’s “inflexible interpretation” of the EU Food Hygiene Regulations, due to come into force next January, could force many small abattoirs to close.
Farmers who have diversified into rare breeds and unusual meat livestock, such as wild boar, ostrich and bison, rely on small abattoirs for slaughter and dressing, according to the FPB.
“If those abattoirs were not there, their animals would be worthless,” said Bob Salmon, food spokesman for the FPB, which represents 25,000 small-to-medium UK firms.
Long journeys to alternative, larger slaughter facilities would cause stress to the animals, reduce quality and risk the spread of disease, making such a switch undesirable.
Salmon this week led a delegation to Brussels to lobby European Commission officials.