Agriculture Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:06 pm on 10th October 2018.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 1:06 pm, 10th October 2018

It is important that we have a network of abattoirs that enables, wherever possible, sustainable local food production. I know that it is an issue close to the hon. Lady’s heart; it is also close to mine. I pay tribute to Patrick Holden and the sustainable farming network for the campaigning work that they have done. We are doing everything we can to support small abattoirs. When it comes to animal welfare, it is also important that we make sure that we have a strong network of official veterinarians guaranteeing the quality of our food. It is also important that we recognise that this Government—originally under the leadership of my right hon. Friend Andrea Leadsom—have introduced, or required, CCTV in all abattoirs to make sure that there is no hiding place for animal cruelty. It is critical that we recognise that our farmers thrive on the basis of producing high-quality food with animal welfare at its heart.