Mobile slaughter


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This presentation was given at the 5th International Symposium on Goat and Sheep Production in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, by Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist for University of Maryland Extension.

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Mobile slaughter

  1. 1. Powerpoint Templates Page 1Powerpoint Templates Mobile slaughterhouses for sheep and goats, advantages and challenges, United States SUSAN SCHOENIAN Sheep & Goat Specialist University of Maryland Extension Keedysville, Maryland USA –
  2. 2. Powerpoint Templates Page 2 Slaughter options in US On-farm No inspection Own consumption Open to interpretation Custom exempt Facilities inspected For owner’s consumption Not for resale State inspection Federal-state cooperation “At least equal to” federal inspection New policy allows interstate sales Federal inspection Can sell meat if labeled No restrictions Inspection ensures wholesomeness of products Includes inspection of facility and animals (ante and post-mortem)
  3. 3. Powerpoint Templates Page 3 • In order to sell meat (by the cut) to the end consumer (without restrictions) livestock must be slaughtered and processed in a facility inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  4. 4. Powerpoint Templates Page 4 The U.S. Meat Industry • The four largest firms account for a significant portion of the slaughter of beef, pork, and lamb. • Since 1980, there has been a significant decline in the number of USDA- inspected slaughter facilities. 1,627 → 1,051 facilities
  5. 5. Powerpoint Templates Page 5 USDA-inspected slaughter • Producers in some states have few options for USDA- inspected slaughter, so livestock have to be sold live (for less income) or hauled significant distances before they can be slaughtered.
  6. 6. Powerpoint Templates Page 6 USDA-inspected slaughter • Many existing USDA- inspected slaughter plants will not slaughter for small and independent producers … or they have significant limitations on slaughter.
  7. 7. Powerpoint Templates Page 7 USDA-inspected slaughter • Some existing USDA- inspected facilities will not process sheep and/or goats. • Many existing facilities will not do Halal or Kosher slaughter or other specialized slaughter.
  8. 8. Powerpoint Templates Page 8 U.S. food trends • There is a palpable mistrust of traditional agriculture and a growing demand for meat that is locally-produced in a specific manner, such as: • Organic • Naturally-raised • Grass-fed • Humane-certified
  9. 9. Powerpoint Templates Page 9 Market access • The only way to tap these specialty and high-end markets is to have access to USDA-inspected slaughter and processing. • Direct marketing eliminates middlemen and allows many small and medium-size producers to increase their incomes and remain economically viable.
  10. 10. Powerpoint Templates Page 10 USDA’s role • Shifting attention to small and medium size farms. • Encouraging organic and sustainable production. • Investing in local food projects.
  11. 11. Powerpoint Templates Page 11 What is a mobile slaughterhouse? • A self-contained slaughter unit that can travel from site to site. Image source:
  12. 12. Powerpoint Templates Page 12 Advantages to mobile slaughter • More humane Livestock do not have to be hauled long distances. • Better quality meat There is less stress at the time of harvest. • More acceptable to the public - “NIMBY” • Adds a value chain to the local economy.
  13. 13. Powerpoint Templates Page 13 Challenges to mobile slaughter • Subject to the same regulatory standards as fixed slaughterhouses. • Each slaughter site requires: 1. Potable water 2. Waste disposal 3. Trailer accommodation 4. Corrals and handling system
  14. 14. Powerpoint Templates Page 14 Space limitations • Operations are usually limited to slaughter and initial processing and chilling. • Unit must association itself with a cut-and-wrap facility that can age the meat and further process the carcass into retail cuts and products. Image source:
  15. 15. Powerpoint Templates Page 15 Other limitations • Geographic How far should unit travel? • Weather • Road conditions • Farm conditions
  16. 16. Powerpoint Templates Page 16 Mobile slaughter of sheep and goats • It is usually not necessary to age lamb and goat carcasses. • There are markets for whole lamb and goat carcasses. • Lamb and goat slaughter does require as much space. • Ethnic customers usually require minimal processing.
  17. 17. Powerpoint Templates Page 17 Cost • Less expensive than a fixed slaughterhouse, but still costly to build. Est. $190,000 - $250,000 US • Can be costly to comply with the myriad of local, state, and federal regulations. – Some states have more stringent regulations which can substantially increase start-up and operating costs. Image source:
  18. 18. Powerpoint Templates Page 18 Funding • Most mobile slaughter units in the U.S. have been paid for with a combination of public and private funds. – Grants – Economic development – Donations – Investors
  19. 19. Powerpoint Templates Page 19 Funding sources PUBLIC • Expect a social benefit from their investment. – Strengthen local food infrastructure. – Economic development (jobs) • Value-added opportunity • Revitalize region’s livestock industry. PRIVATE • Expect a return on their investment. • Example business plan Full capacity 5 years to pay off investment Breakeven point 20 years to pay off investment
  20. 20. Powerpoint Templates Page 20 Mobile slaughter in the U.S. Owner/operator Location Capacity Year Island-Grown Farmers Cooperative San Juan Islands Washington 9-10 beef 24 hogs 40 sheep 2002 Central Coast Agricultural Cooperative Central California 5-6 beef 10 hogs 10 lambs/goats 2009 2011 Puget Sound Meat Producers Cooperative Western Washington 8-10 animal units 2009 Module Harvest System™ Local Infrastructure for Local Agriculture New York Hudson Valley 20 cattle More sheep and goats new Taos County Economic Development Corporation New Mexico 5 to 24 animals 2007 Nebraska Prairie Harvest Project Callicrate Cattle Company Nebraska 10 cattle or equivalent new Source: Red meat (large animals)
  21. 21. Powerpoint Templates Page 21 Case studies: Washington state ISLAND GROWN • Funded with grants and private donations. • Owned and operated by a cooperative • Began operating in 2002. • Operates at individual farms • Meat is transported to cut-and- wrap facility on mainland. PUGET SOUND • Funded by Pierce County Conservation District and leased to cooperative. • Began operating in 2009 • Operates at fixed venues • Meat is transported to two cut- and-wrap facilities.
  22. 22. Powerpoint Templates Page 22 California – Central Coast • Timeline – Built in 2002 with federal funds – Sat idle for 7 years – Began operating in 2009 Struggled to stay busy enough – Closed and re-opened in 2011 – Now leased to small butcher who also does further processing. • State of California has more stringent regulations. – No on-farm composting of waste – More restrictive on slaughter sites
  23. 23. Powerpoint Templates Page 23 Other units in operation NEBRASKA • Built by Nebraska Environmental Coalition. • Operated by Callicrate Cattle Co. NEW MEXICO • Built by Taos County Economic Development Corporation. • Part of a larger vision of developing a community- based food model.
  24. 24. Powerpoint Templates Page 24 Module Harvest System™ • Owned and operated by Local Infrastructure for Local Agriculture. • Combines four modules 1. Refrigerated truck for harvest and initial chilling 2. Refrigerated truck for temporary storage and hauling to cut-and-wrap plant 3. Truck to handle waste 4. USDA office trailer • Fixed docking stations.
  25. 25. Powerpoint Templates Page 25 Conclusions • Mobile slaughter units are not a panacea (“quick fix”) for small scale meat processing in the U.S. • They may work in some situations, but not others.
  26. 26. Powerpoint Templates Page 26 Conclusions • They may require a public-private partnership in order to be economically viable. • There are no long term success stories in the U.S. (yet).
  27. 27. Powerpoint Templates Page 27 Resources • Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network • Mobile slaughter/processing units @eXtension slaughterprocessing-units • The Module Harvest System™: a case study • Mobile slaughter unit • Spirit of Humane
  28. 28. Powerpoint Templates Page 28 Questions? Thank you for your attention.