Mobile abattoirs: the BC experience

Mobile abattoirs:
the BC experience
For Sustain Ontario mobile abattoirs webinar
30 October 2012
Presenter: Kathleen Gibson
Former Manager of Meat Programs
for the BC Food Processors Association
Regulatory context
• Pre 2004: limited meat inspection areas
• 2004 Meat Inspection Regulation under Food
Safety Act: licences, facility upgrades required
for all slaughter for meat for human food
• 2005-12: programs in place to assist with
licensing and related costs
• 2010: addition of D and E licences
• 2011-present: prep for provincial inspection
after 2013
BC’s graduated licensing system
Industry impact
Pre 2004, 300+ operations? A/B only option
2004: 11 A/B
2012: 59 A/B (43 A, 16 B) and 69 D/E
Significant cost to build/upgrade A/B (< $1M)
Mobiles may only be A or B
Still concern in some areas about facility
requirements for A/B, or lack of E
• Still uncertainty about inspection post 2013
BC’s poultry mobiles 1/2
Passmore Pluckers, Slocan
North Okanagan Poultry Processors, Armstrong
Salt Spring Island facility
Okanagan Poultry Processing, Kelowna
BC’s poultry mobiles 2/2
BC status Oct 2012: 8 licensed mobile units - 6 active, 1 stationary, 1 inactive
Cariboo-Central Interior Poultry Producers Association unit at docking station 1, Quesnel
Red meat mobiles
BC status Oct 2012: 1 licensed mobile unit (inactive); 1 nearly licensed; 3 under
LEFT: BC’s Gate to Plate unit 1, Fort St. John
ABOVE: Island Grown Farmers’ Co-op unit 1, Washington State
BC’s mobiles: lessons learned
• Not simple as hoped e.g. “move unit not animal”
o Licence is for unit + approved docking station
o Each DS has to address potable water, waste, chilling, other issues (non-trivial!)
o Two types docking station: community or individual farm
• Mobiles generally less cost-effective per carcass than fixed units:
Trailerable models cheaper to manufacture and operate than 53’ reefer type units
Seem to work if start out debt free
Volume is restricted
Time and cost for setup including ice-making
Down time when unit moving from site to site
Crew time and travel costs; or train more crews
Biosecurity of unit is a major consideration for farm-based docking stations
• Operational logistics issues:
Road access limits size; cramped quarters slow the process
Work flow is a key planning issue
Difficult to chill on site
Where to store carcasses if not on site? Red meat especially
Scheduling: everyone wants service at same times, challenge coordinating with inspectors
BC’s mobiles verdict so far?
6 active mobile poultry units; 0 active red meat units
Business case needs total cost accounting
Manoeuverability vs. workflow limitations
Mobilization has to be well thought out, and limited
(it’s still cheaper to move animals short distances)
Invest in producer-processor relationships, build trust
through education, celebrate successes
Emphasize pre-planning from birth to death of animals
Provide online support for scheduling, education etc.
Ask advice from/network with operators of active units
For further information:
• Abattoir licensing and inspection in BC:
• BC mobiles business case spreadsheets, Salt
Spring Island multi-use project: Murray
Coates, [email protected]
• North Okanagan Poultry Processors group and
unit: Andrea Gunner, [email protected]

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