Abbatoir ‘surely worth exploring further’ – Batten

Plans to open a new abbatoir at Burnfoot were discussed at a community council meeting on Tuesday night.

Treasurer Jamie Batten read out correspondence from an animal welfare group who said they supported the idea in principle and would welcome further debate on the matter.

Speaking to the Hawick News this week, Mr Batten said: “I think this idea is more than worth exploring further. We have some of the best livestock producers in the country here in the Borders and around Hawick. This is surely something that is worth exploring further.”

Mr Batten further suggested that the plant could be linked to the proposed anaerobic digestion plant which has been mooted by local member Alastair Cranston.

He added: “This would be an excellent thing to link an abbatoir to. And if the digestion plant does come to fruition any income generated could be used to part finance an abbatoir. Just think of the employment opportunities for the people of Burnfoot. This would be huge.”

The former Kepak abbatoir at Burnfoot was demolished in 2009 and the site has been dormant since the plant closed in the 1990s.

Adding to the debate, Burnfoot area member Stuart Marshall said: “It would be great to have an abattoir operating at Burnfoot again. It was a major employer in the town at one time and its a disgrace that we don’t have one in the Borders.

“However, I sat down several months ago with members and an officials to discuss this and was told that it wasn’t possible for many reasons. The last thing we should be doing is raising expectations until much more work is undertaken.”