Farmers sought for mobile abattoir project

Farmers sought for mobile abattoir project

By Angela Hill


Friday June 13, 2008

The province is asking local producers to help a killer on the run.
Alberta Agriculture is looking for farmers to become a part of a pilot
project involving a mobile abattoir.

The abattoir on wheels travels from farm-to-farm and slaughters the
animals right at home. This could be a great alternative for those
farmers who do not want to use a slaughter plant or who do not have
access to one.

Many times animals in Alberta are trucked for hours, without food or
water, to slaughter. The combined stress of travel and lack of
nutrition has some producers believing these animals have no taste. In
addition, the ability to slaughter at home saves the farmer the cost of

The Alberta abattoir on wheels is 53 feet long, with four rooms to
allow for skinning, cleaning and washing up. The meat is then hung in a
refrigerated compartment in the trailer, which holds up to 12 cattle
carcasses. The trial project is being run by a combination of Olds
College and government partners. They believe the mobile abattoir will
translate into increased local access to quality meats as well as an
opportunity to capitalize on niche markets, such as organically-grown
and Halal meats.

Pincher Creek organic beef farmer, Keith Everts, says the idea might be
good for smaller producers, but questions how they get rid of their
waste product. “Canada has some of the safest product in the world and
I would like to see how they address the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection
Agency) food regulations,” said Everts. Everts doesn’t see himself
joining the pilot project because he currently has a pretty good
alliance with a packing facility.

“If producers decide to use the mobile abattoir it would be good to
partner with Pincher Creek meats and support each other locally,”
pointed out Everts.

Although Everts won’t be needing the killer on wheels, the rising price
of fuel and grain may entice other local producers to join the meat
wagon. For more information, you can contact Jennifer Isaac at Olds
College at (403) 507-7714.