§ Mr. Paice
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what studies he has undertaken to assess the effects of closure of abattoirs on(a) direct farm sales and farmers' market sales, (b) the viability of independent butchers, (c) the viability of (i) small, (ii) medium and (iii) large livestock farms, (d) the animal welfare implications and the costs of transporting livestock extra distances to abattoirs and (e) the number of jobs lost through closure. 
§ Ms Quin [holding answer 28 February 2001]
The Ministry has undertaken no studies to assess the above effects of abattoir closures.
As announced in the Rural White Paper published on 28 November, Agriculture Departments in England, Scotland and Wales have agreed to transfer £8.7 million to the Foods Standards Agency for the three financial years 2001–02 to 2003–04; this will enable the FSA to implement the principal recommendation of the Taskforce chaired by Colin Maclean, to revise the method of charging for Meat Hygiene Service inspections in abattoirs and cutting plants.