North Central SARE From the Field Profile
Farmers Build Small-Scale Mobile Slaughter System
Development of Humane Slaughter Systems for Small-Scale Operations
As family farmers in northwest Wisconsin, Larry Jacoby and his partner raise premium sheep and goats. In attempting to market their meat as a value-added product, they came to realize that good, small-scale equipment simply did not exist for humane, animal welfare friendly slaughter. They wanted to develop a mobile slaughter unit that could be produced at a reasonable cost.
Jacoby researched the design and construction of a mobile slaughter unit for sheep and goats with an upright animal restraint to facilitate a humane slaughter. They worked with animal welfare experts Dr. Joe Regenstein and Dr. Temple Grandin to develop a restraint system that allowed proper and humane slaughter, ensuring their meat products were consistently high quality. The unit was designed for small scale custom and low volume state and federally inspected facilities.
Bringing years of experience as sheep and goat farmers and many useful skills from other jobs over the years, they found the units could be built at a reasonable cost. However, they discovered that regulations vary state by state, which prevented them from selling the units. Jacoby said it is very important that anyone interested in building their own unit contact the proper departments in their state for rules and regulations.
At the time Jacoby was researching and building these units, an ethnic market for halal goat was thriving. However, it was discovered that culturally diverse customers needed to purchase the lower cost imported alternatives, except for special occasions, due to the lack of discretionary income. As a result, they now sell regularly to local, high-end restaurants and less frequently to culturally diverse customers. Currently their equipment is used as a standard in one of the local USDA facilities for all types of goat and lamb slaughter — not just religious slaughter. See more at www.spiritofhumane.com.
Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) FNC05-584, Development of Humane Slaughter Systems for Small-Scale Operations.
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These products were developed with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within these products do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.