The abattoir, which had a £650,000 refurbishment in 2007, currently slaughters cows and pigs on alternate weeks. But farmer Darren Quénault said that having to wait a week caused problems. He wants to be able to process his animals on a weekly basis.
‘It’s killing our business,’ he said. ‘If someone wants a suckling pig, they have to book it a month ahead. ‘Who knows what they want a month ahead? I would be hard pushed to think of a worse way of running it.’
Mr Quénault said that it was harder for pig farmers because pork needed to be used fresh. ‘The nature of the beast is that it goes off,’ he said. ‘It’s not like beef. The longer pork hangs, the worse it is.’
Head of waste prevention and recycling, John Rive, has responsibility for the abattoir. He said that Transport and Technical Services, who run the abattoir, sympathised with the farmers over the current system.
‘We would like to be able to provide the service they are pushing for,’ he said, ‘but it always comes back to funding, especially in these difficult economic times.