Abattoir in Trawsfynydd closed after Chernobyl disaster reopens

Evan Roberts Evan Roberts said it has taken 10 years to do all the work to reopen the abattoir

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An abattoir in Gwynedd forced to close after restrictions covering sheep movements after the Chernobyl nuclear 27 years ago disaster has reopened.

The business, which has been in Evan Roberts' family for 100 years, now employs three part-time staff.

Mr Roberts said the latest regulations meant a lot of updating was needed at the site in Cwm Cynfal, Trawsfynydd.

The Farmers' Union of Wales said there was a desperate need for more local abattoirs.

"It's taken me 10 years to do all the work and get everything together to meeting with current regulations," Mr Roberts told BBC Radio Cymru.

Plagued by closures

Chernobyl facts

  • In the early hours of 26 April 1986, one of four nuclear reactors at the Chernobyl power station exploded.
  • Moscow was slow to admit what had happened, even after increased radiation was detected in other countries.
  • Around 49,000 people were evacuated from the town of Pripyat in the Ukraine.
  • It was reported that two people died immediately and 29 over the following days.
  • Experts disagree on the longer-term impact of the radiation.

Source: BBC News

"We will be able to process between 200 and 300 lambs a week. These will be local animals - and what better than Welsh lamb."

He said that with lamb prices currently low it was better for farmers to sell the produce themselves.

"It's up to the farmers to come to us now, although after saying that we've already had customers come back to us, some that even used us in the 1960s have returned."

Gwyn Williams from the Farmers' Union of Wales said the development was "excellent" news for an industry which had been plagued by closures over recent years.

"Abattoirs have suffered because of rising prices and bureaucracy and there are only a handful left in Wales now," he said.

Mr Williams added that without local abattoirs farmers in north Wales have to take their sheep to Preston, Lancashire, or Llanybydder in Carmarthenshire.

"This is totally unacceptable, it just does not make sense.

"Governments say they want to cut the number of miles food has to travel, but they do nothing to help.

"They leave the market to control itself, but really it could do with political direction," he said.

Restrictions covering sheep movements after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster were lifted from all farms in England and Wales on 1 June 2012.

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