British meat suppliers say they are “closely following” the performance of a mobile cattle slaughterhouse unveiled last week in Sweden.
The unit, which can process up to 30 animals a day, has been developed by Swedish meat supplier Hälsingestintan. It was the first of its kind in Europe, said the company, which claimed it would improve animal welfare and meat quality.
The slaughterhouse - which took two years to develop and cost more than £4m - consists of two trailers towed by an articulated lorry. They contain offices, changing rooms, the slaughterhouse itself and refrigerated storage for the meat. Once on a farm, the unit is self-sufficient in water and electricity, and uses as much of the animal as possible, said Hälsingestintan vice president Henrik Viken.
“There is a consumer demand for beef from trusted and sustainable sources, and we felt we could do more to offer this to consumers,” he added. “Finland first developed facilities for reindeer production based on the fact that transportation to an abattoir would take too long, but no one has attempted using the same techniques on beef.”
Welsh meat promotion body Hybu Cig Cymru said it was “interested in the concept” and would be “closely following” its development.
Mobile slaughterhouses “seem like a logical approach to slaughtering in remote areas,” said Stephen Rossides, director of the British Meat Processors Association, adding their feasibility would “depend on the economics.”