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Abattoir on Scilly 'should be reconsidered'

A Council Senior Manager has suggested that the possibility of an abattoir on the Isles of Scilly should be reconsidered.

His comment came at last night's Public Meeting in response to a member of the audience expressing concern about the "significant" animal welfare issue of transporting livestock to the mainland to be slaughtered.

Craig Dryden, Senior Manager for Infrastructure and Planning, said: "I couldn’t agree more. Since I’ve been here I think we’ve given planning permission on at least two occasions. If we did have an abattoir, it would be brilliant not just for animal welfare but we can also get more livestock here, which would be good for the environment so we can have more grazing. Also for food production as we can be a lot more self-sufficient.

"But it all comes down to business and hard economics. Like a lot of things here we don’t have the economies of scale, we’re just not quite big enough to make things work. We’ve looked in the past at things like having mobile abattoir units and sometimes the legislation is a little bit more difficult. I think it would be really good, particularly if the farmers, the growers, the Duchy, maybe the Wildlife Trust, actually relooked at this."

The Duchy of Cornwall said there are currently no discussions about an abattoir, despite the issue coming up on several occasions in past years.

Deputy Land Steward Luke Humphries told This is Scilly: "This is a problem that goes back decades. We look at it periodically and it is definitely one of our long-term aims. It would be a very worthwhile thing to have on the islands.

"The problem is volume and economies of scale. We would have to build a very small one and there would be significant costs attached not only the building but employing someone and the long-term upkeep. The throughput would have to be big enough."

He added: "The desire is always there and we're aware of the challenges. But we're nowhere near overcoming them or having a coherent plan. I'd love one day to be able to say we're getting an abattoir on Scilly, but there is nothing in the pipeline right now."

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