HC Deb 04 April 2001 vol 366 c221W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will investigate the prices being paid to farmers by abattoirs; and if he will make it his policy to ensure that abattoirs do not exploit their monopoly position. [156135]

Ms Quin

[holding answer 29 March 2001]: The added costs involved in the livestock slaughter scheme currently being absorbed by the abattoir sector are substantial and these have to be taken into account. These costs include the reduction in throughput due to cleaning and disinfection procedures in the lairage, more thorough ante and post mortem inspections for foot and mouth disease and reduced supplies of available livestock. MAFF is now aware that abattoirs are operating as a monopoly but any evidence of this should be reported to the Office of Fair Trading.

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