Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 15th May 2003.

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Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 11:30 am, 15th May 2003

The hon. Gentleman shakes his head, but that is precisely what I understand, and I do not think that it helps to try to nail commercial decisions on to the introduction of regulations. It should be remembered that there is over-production in the abattoir industry in this country. To try to help, in view of the importance of the local and regional economy, we have refocused our policy on the abattoir sector, which means that abattoirs are eligible to apply for processing and marketing grants and to make use of rural enterprise schemes, in order to gain assistance from those elements in the England rural development programme.