Lack of Small Abattoirs

Old Tip

Member
Location
Cumbria
The RBST and the Sustainabile Food Trust have been banging on about this issue for a bit.
But it seems both the latest food report and George Eustice are missing the point re the important role of small abattoirs to farmers who sell direct or to local butchers. The big companies don’t want the hassle and so the ability to market your own stock is getting harder and harder. We are lucky in that we have two small family run outfits close by but I know others are traveling many miles or have given up due to lack of availabilit.
Be intrested to see hoe others are managing and what facilities are available in your area

https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/eustice-wrong-to-say-small-abattoir-network-is-sufficient
 
We have a very good one 10 miles away and when we had a shop went at least once week. I know people travel at least 50 miles to it and it always had wiered and wonderful breeds in the pens.
I also know they have had to spend a small fortune on the place to keep up with the ever changing rules and regs so much so they did contemplate giving up, as the place is rented, but thankfully for now they are still going.
 
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Wink

Member
Location
Hampshire
Unfortunately have had to stop (at least for the time being). We have 2 but both are an hour away. I was sending a trailer full of pigs for direct sale weekly and built a small sheep flock to add a few lambs to that. Availability of pig rearing land finally put a stop to the pigs after many many years (too costly too keep moving and lack of correct genetics in store pig supply availability). Therefore it isn't worth sending in a few lambs/mutton in a trip, that at quickest, with loading/unloading, washing etc takes at absolute minimum 3.5 hours, then add in the fuel and time could be doing something else. Such a shame, especially as the abattoir is good and after many many years of direct sale, literally starting from door to door, to markets etc. and finally managing to put in a farm shop, we now have to rely on other local farmers to provide our carcases. One day, as they say!
 
It is a major issue in the south east as the small ones are in need of investment and it is becoming almost impossible to find slaughtermen.
Pigs have the most problems as there are only facilities for them on occasional days.

The one in West Sussex is about to close but hopefully a new operator will take it on. The one in East Sussex needs a lot of investment and is only killing 3 days a week and no pigs.
In Kent there is one small pig abattoir, a very small low throughput place in East Kent and a larger place in West Kent which is mostly geared to the ethnic trade, but is prepared to switch to more local killing, however it also needs significant investment.
In Hampshire there is one family run abattoir but it is in the middle of Farnborough, with poor access and in the centre of the town and really needs to move but it is doubtful if planning could be obtained for a new site!!

It is a catastrophe in that government wants to reduce the distances animals travel and have more local supply, the reality is stark that the infrastructure is falling apart or closing down.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
We used to have one in the village. That shut years ago.

We used to have one on the other side of our local town. That shut 25 years ago.

We used to have one 12 miles away. That shut about 20 years ago.

Our nearest one is now 25 miles away. That one is 'kill only'. If we want something cutting up and vac-packing we have to go 60 miles.
 
No proper slaughter facilities in the Scottish borders for about ten years, absolutely ridiculous given the amount of stock in the area. For private kills you need to go down to County Durham or along the M8 towards Glasgow. My embryo regenerative grazing/rare breed suckler herd would fit ideally with retailing beef at a premium but current situation makes that difficult.
If they start changing permitted journey times without doing something to help slaughterhouses, then it will be a real double dunt.
 
Location
East Mids
Really lucky here as there's a very good small family run abattoir about 8-10 miles away, has a butchers attached and people literally queue out the car park some days, they supply meat to a huge amount of local pubs, restaurants etc and have 2 other butchers shops in local towns.
It looks like I'm very fortunate.
I presume you mean these chaps? https://www.joseph-morris-butchers.co.uk/about/

Fantastic set up. Used to take our freezer lamb and beef there for slaughter, always very impressed with them and I would buy something from the shop when I went to pick the carcass up. Easy to deal with and not too expensive for kill and cut.

We ended up there after 2 smaller abattoir set ups nearer to Melton (Long Clawson and Tugby) folded and one at Cotgrave messed us around too much.
 

bluebell

Member
the govt, of the day seems to be pushing more and more people into the black economy? all businesses included, the rules regs and tax ? why bother? the grow in illegal unregulated killing of animals increases , going on by the blog on here about sheep being stolen out of fields, thats just the tip of the iceburg?
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
Just to be a bit more positive, there are 5 or 6 within 30 miles of here. Some come more recommended than others shall we say🤐
We've used 3 of them and happy to stick with either of 2.
None are really close, but chatted to a young couple some months ago who were keen to set up a new one . Whether it gets off the ground time will tell.
 

Guiggs

Member
Location
Leicestershire
I presume you mean these chaps? https://www.joseph-morris-butchers.co.uk/about/

Fantastic set up. Used to take our freezer lamb and beef there for slaughter, always very impressed with them and I would buy something from the shop when I went to pick the carcass up. Easy to deal with and not too expensive for kill and cut.

We ended up there after 2 smaller abattoir set ups nearer to Melton (Long Clawson and Tugby) folded and one at Cotgrave messed us around too much.

That's the one, really decent people, it helps my step dad went school with one of the guys there and as such i always get treated with a bit if extra banter!
 

sheepdogtrail

Member
Livestock Farmer
Seven years ago
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I built my own after my local one was sold to a party that had a better ideal. At least they thought they did.

Mine has the cooling capacity of about 26 lambs per day with a carcass weight of 65 lbs. per lamb.

The ready to work trailer (completely outfitted) weighs about 4600 lbs. That includes 50 gallons of rinse water. It is 16 feet long.

The whole project cost around 65K GBP. It paid for itself in 2 years from only being used on my lambs a couple of months per year.
 
Seven years ago View attachment 974311View attachment 974312View attachment 974313I built my own after my local one was sold to a party that had a better ideal. At least they thought they did.

Mine has the cooling capacity of about 26 lambs per day with a carcass weight of 65 lbs. per lamb.

The ready to work trailer (completely outfitted) weighs about 4600 lbs. That includes 50 gallons of rinse water. It is 16 feet long.

The whole project cost around 65K GBP. It paid for itself in 2 years from only being used on my lambs a couple of months per year.
Mobile abattoir apparently in the pipeline here. Hope it works out. I think I remember reading that it would cost £500/day to operate. If that includes two decent slaughtermen, then it will be be a marginal proposition.
 

Old Tip

Member
Location
Cumbria
Seven years ago View attachment 974311View attachment 974312View attachment 974313I built my own after my local one was sold to a party that had a better ideal. At least they thought they did.

Mine has the cooling capacity of about 26 lambs per day with a carcass weight of 65 lbs. per lamb.

The ready to work trailer (completely outfitted) weighs about 4600 lbs. That includes 50 gallons of rinse water. It is 16 feet long.

The whole project cost around 65K GBP. It paid for itself in 2 years from only being used on my lambs a couple of months per year.
That’s some smart outfit, how do you handle the waste, blood etc
 

sheepdogtrail

Member
Livestock Farmer
Mobile abattoir apparently in the pipeline here. Hope it works out. I think I remember reading that it would cost £500/day to operate. If that includes two decent slaughtermen, then it will be be a marginal proposition.
I could see how it would cost £500/day to operate. It certainly does not have to. It cost me about £200/day to operate every 6 hour work day. At this point, that includes labor, fuel, inspection, testing. Chilling/Storage is a 24/7 operation during harvest. That cost about £10.00 per day for about 60 - 80 days per year.

I built ultralight with T6 Aluminum. Therefore most light duty trucks can tow it around. If I used steel and stainless steel, I would have a need for much larger truck to move it around and that trucks cost should go into the operating cost of the mobile unit.

So depending on how it is engineered, £500/day to operate seems possible.
 

delilah

Member
Our business is totally and utterly reliant on one chap. If he gets up at 4am one morning, decides he has had enough of the blood and guts and goes back to bed, we are stuffed. No-one else in a viable distance from us.

Dimbleby has wasted two years of his life. All he had to do with his food strategy was highlight the one issue that is knackering food in this country, and he flunked it. And by backing his report your national representative bodies are complicit in destroying the industry.
Market share is the root of all evil.
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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