Can Mobile Abattoirs Save the UK’s Meat Industry?

Mobile abattoirs are being hailed as a potential solution to the high closure rates of small UK slaughterhouses.

In the last 10 years, more than a third of the nation’s small-scale abattoirs have shut down, according to research by the Sustainable Food Trust. The situation – which has been described as ‘critical level’ – means the UK risks compromising their high animal welfare standards as well as losing local and traceable meat supplies. 

Could mobile abattoirs be the answer? The compact systems are thought to be an ideal solution as they enable the on-farm slaughter of livestock. This means that animals who have spent their entire lives on certain sites need not undergo a long and often traumatic journey to an abattoir situated miles away. Instead, these mobile facilities would travel between farms where they would slaughter the livestock and dress carcasses. Farmers then have the option of either butchering their own product or sending it off to a central cutting plant of their choice.

The proposal for mobile abattoirs has been fully outlined by the Sustainable Food Trust in a comprehensive report. They highlight that similar facilities are also being trialed across France, Australia and Canada. Although none have yet been implemented in the UK, the report notes that a small producer group, led by Fir Farm in Gloucestershire, is seriously considering the initiative. After conducting an online survey, they received 219 responses from farmers and consumers alike – most of which were overwhelmingly positive. Significantly, 92% of consumers agreed that they would be prepared to pay a premium for animals slaughtered on the farm where they had spent their lives.

To discover more about the mobile abattoir proposal, please visit the Sustainable Food Trust’s report; http://sustainablefoodtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Re-localising-farm-animal-slaughter-low-res.pdf

To accommodate the development of compact slaughtering systems, Cutting Edge now distribute a range of table top slicing and cutting machines. From the Grasselli ST200 Table Top Strip Cutter to the Siebeck Table Top Tying Machine, our compact solutions are designed to bring greater flexibility to the slaughtering process. We are passionate about the possibility of mobile abattoirs and want to facilitate their success with our small, durable and remarkably effective devices.

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