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Plans for new abattoir in Forest
AN abattoir could be created in the Forest 20 years after the last one in the district closed, if plans to make life easier for farmers get the go ahead.
New Forest organisations have been working together to create the necessary market conditions to ensure there is a viable future for New Forest farmers.
Now farmers in and around the New Forest are being invited to get involved in a new study to assess if a locally-based abattoir would be viable.
After the last abattoir in the New Forest area closed in 1992 farmers had to travel long distances with their animals, increasing costs.
A local abattoir could also help improve the supply of meat and help develop higher quality and higher value local products, say campaigners.
This initial feasibility study is being run by a steering group funded by the New Forest Rural Development Programme England and the New Forest National Park Authority.
It will look to see if a local facility is viable in the current economic situation, and if so, recommend different business models looking at how it might be owned and operated.
Sam Dovey, New Forest Group Secretary of the National Farmers’ Union, said: “We have an opportunity to look at the production figures for the Forest and wider area, including the Isle of Wight, to see if they would support a local abattoir, and if so, what steps we could take to make this happen.
“We really need replies from the Forest to gain a true picture.”
Sally Igra, of funding body New Forest RDPE, said: “A sustainable livestock sector is a key priority for New Forest rural development and we are very pleased to be able to support this important feasibility study.”
To get involved in the feasibility study fill out an online questionnaire at surveymonkey.com/s/abattoir or to be sent a paper copy with a freepost envelope, contact email@example.com or 01590 646648.