Plan to protect local abattoirs


A pilot project aimed at protecting small abattoirs throughout the EU in order to help ensure meat is sourced locally will be unveiled in north Cork today by Minister of State for Research and Development Seán Sherlock.

The two-year project aimed at small abattoirs, butchers and meat processors has been co-ordinated by north Cork rural development company IRD Duhallow, which has led the scheme along with partners in Ireland, Spain, Finland and Denmark.

Project co-ordinator Isobel Fletcher said the number of abattoirs in Ireland had dropped from 1,000 some 20 years ago to just over 200 today. The pattern of rationalisation was visible across the EU, she added.

The project, funded under the European Commission’s Leonardo da Vinci Programme, seeks to halt this decline through e-learning training programmes for local abattoirs, butchers and meat processors, Ms Fletcher said.

The Local Meat Supply Chains project has been well received by the industry.