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Mobile abattoirs: the BC experience. 2005-2012 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

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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
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
industry impact
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
BC’s poultry mobiles 1/2

Passmore Pluckers, Slocan

Salt Spring Island facility

North Okanagan Poultry Processors, Armstrong

Okanagan Poultry Processing, Kelowna

bc s poultry mobiles 2 2
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
Red meat mobiles

BC status Oct 2012: 1 licensed mobile unit (inactive); 1 nearly licensed; 3 under construction

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
BC’s mobiles: lessons learned
  • Not simple as hoped e.g. “move unit not animal”
    • Licence is for unit + approved docking station
    • Each DS has to address potable water, waste, chilling, other issues (non-trivial!)
    • 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
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
For further information:
  • Abattoir licensing and inspection in BC:

  • BC mobiles business case spreadsheets, Salt Spring Island multi-use project: Murray Coates,
  • North Okanagan Poultry Processors group and unit: Andrea Gunner,