The dramatic decline of the traditional British fishmonger and butcher has been laid bare, with official figures showing that nearly 3,000 have gone out of business or quit the industry in the past seven years. Daily Telegraph

The closures highlight the 'slow death' of the British high street, which has been caused by the growing power of supermarkets and the increasing costs of running an independent business.

VAT data shows that in April 2000 there were 9,081 butchers in Britain. Over the next seven years that number fell to 7,186 — a decline equivalent to almost 23 butchers closing every month. The figures for fishmongers show an even bigger decline. In 2000 there were 2,408, a number which has now fallen by 31% to 1,657. And the figures do not include shops that are exempt from registering for VAT.