Small abattoirs are being failed by a lack of joined-up thinking from different Government bodies, Emily Miles, chief executive of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), has said.
Ms Miles, who has been working with small abattoir owners to address the problems they face, said she had been left ‘frustrated’ by the issue.
Her comments came as peers in the House of Lords prepared to debate an amendment to the Agriculture Bill which would ensure slaughterhouses were eligible for Government support.
Speaking at the Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum event, Ms Miles said: “If you are a small abattoir, you are subjected to regulations from the FSA on food safety, from Defra on animal welfare and then there are economic implications for you as well, covered by the Treasury and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and others.
“Those who are trying to help small abattoirs thrive are finding themselves passed from pillar to post between different parts of Government.
“In the past in my career, I was seen as a bit of a softy because I thought we should line up and work together, but I do not think this is a soft thing.
“It is a really difficult thing to do, but it is absolutely essential. We have got to get over ourselves and start working together.”