Bannockburn beef farmer Chris Balazs could soon have his own abattoir on wheels if laws to reform Victoria’s Meat Industry Act are passed.
The new laws, which Mr Balazs hopes will be approved by Parliament next month, will allow vehicles, such as mobile abattoirs, to be licensed as meat processing facilities.
Mr Balazs, along with five other entrepreneurs — vet Phil Larwill, educator Deb Sonenberg, marketer Jayne Newgreen, barrister Merissa Martinez and chef Christopher Howe — have been developing a mobile slaughter unit under the business name FarmgateMSU.
“Currently there are relocatable abattoirs operating, but no mobile abattoirs in Australia,” he said. “In livestock, this was the missing piece we had to fill to provide true provenance. Paddock-to-plate, which everyone talks about, is actually paddock-to-truck-to-abattoir-to-butcher-to-plate.”
Chris said customers wanted traceable, high quality meat, and mobile abattoirs could help create shorter supply chains and decrease livestock stress.
“The animals spend so much time in stress minimisation, we invest in premium feed — these are expensive, time-consuming practices to create calm happy animals and wonderfully eating meat. Then we have to put them on the back of a truck … they become visibly stressed. I thought there has to be a better way.”
Mr Larwill last year inspected a mobile abattoir operation in Sweden that has been credited with transforming small-scale beef production in that country.
Ag-tech start-up poised to slaughter animals in truck, saving animals transport stress