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A Spatial Analysis Of The Robustness Of The “Private Kill” Abattoir Network In The UK: A Proof Of Concept Study

Long-term trend in the closure of abattoir businesses has reduced “private kill” provision across the UK, leading to longer and more complex livestock journeys - jeopardising animal welfare, and threatening the viability of the locally-finished and -slaughtered red meat supply chain.

This “proof of concept” study uses farmer and abattoir survey data, GIS software and Monte Carlo simulations to estimate the impacts of possible further closures of private kill abattoirs on the robustness of the private kill network. In August 2020, we estimate 18% of the UK was further than 45kms from a private kill abattoir, while 21% was serviced by one, 14% by two and 47% by three or more abattoirs.

We estimate the robustness of the private kill network by calculating the size of these areas in turn should 9% or 18% of the existing private kill abattoirs stop operating. In both scenarios the area further than 45km from a private kill service, and with one and two providers increased, while the area with three or more providers decreased.

The discussion considers additional information needed to allow this methodology a become a useful tool for supporting the private kill network by providing support to strategically located abattoir businesses within the overarching network of private kill businesses.

UK

Author(s): Franks J.R. (1), Hepburn J. (1), Peden R. (1)

Organization(s): Newcastle University (1)