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 Colin Breed Colin Breed Liberal Democrat, South East Cornwall 11:30 am, 15th May 2003

I am sure that the Minister is well aware of the Countryside Agency report on local food, in which it says:

"the erosion of the infrastructure that used to support local food markets was identified as a key barrier. In particular, the closure of local abattoirs, due to increasing legislation".

Under the heading "Legislation", it says:

"Regulations were felt to have a disproportionately high impact on businesses in the local food sector, which tend to be small/micro businesses. Much legislation is felt to be impractical, inappropriate, and unduly expensive to implement, particularly in the meat sector."

What response has the Department made to that very important Countryside Agency report?