In the past few months we have achieved full EU Approval for our on farm abattoir, this allows us to process birds for other small farmers. Something that opens up a load of possibilities for ourselves & other farmers in our area. We have gone against the tide a small bit on this one, the trend in recent times has been for the closure of abattoirs . We supply direct to the consumer and needs must, this was the last piece of the jigsaw allowing us to do this.
We are very lucky to have our abattoir up and running, been able to work with the people on the ground to comply with all the food safety legislation that exists for a slaughterhouse like ours. We have found systems that enable us to fully comply with food safety legislation and yet provide the flexibility for an operation of our size and traditional practises. Now that we have come through the process, I keep asking myself a few questions.
Is the demand simply not there anymore?
Is our country's interpretation of the EU legislation the reason?
What was the experience like for the farmers, butchers and slaughter men that had to close slaughterhouses that were generations in existence?
What effects has the closure of these slaughterhouses had on the food supply chain on this small island?
At this stage in the development of our food supply system it maybe that the demand is not there from farmers to slaughter and supply direct to their neighbours. But that demand was definitely there before we adopted EU Food Hygiene & Protection of Animals at Slaughter legislation.
Slaughtering and Butchering of animals is a noble profession, which on a small scale is becoming less practised. Maybe the consolidation of meat processing has been to the benefit of both the consumer and the farmer.
It would be no harm to ask a few questions on this just in case we are about to lose something that both the farmer & the consumer will regret.
Licenced to Kill- Slaughter men an endanger species