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 James Gray James Gray Conservative, North Wiltshire 11:30 am, 15th May 2003

The Minister has tried to gloss over the very worrying closure of small abattoirs and, in some strange way, to attribute that to commercial reasons. Of course he is quite right: those commercial decisions are taken because of the huge increase in costs to small abattoirs and the huge increase in regulation. Those commercial decisions are directly attributable to the Government. Will he now tell the House how he perceives the additional costs that result from the animal by-products regulations, which are about to come into effect? How many small abattoirs need to have their incinerators upgraded? How much extra will that cost; and what approaches has he made to the European Commission about allowing small abattoirs grants for the capital costs that will be incurred because of the animal by-products regulations?