Led by Maison paysanne, developed by a dozen dedicated breeders and benefiting from the support of Confédération paysanne, the mobile slaughterhouse project is winning. On Thursday, June 30, at Charlemagne High School, the association “Abat’mobile Aude” was formed, while a study devoted to the tool’s impact on animal welfare was presented.
13 years ago, Europe paved the way for mobile slaughterhouses in a regulation on the protection of animals at the time of their killing. It took until 2018, and the Egalim Act, for France to approve the experiment. In 2020, the Côte d’Or welcomed the first mobile slaughterhouse, “Ethical Beef”. A realization that Aude hopes for, thanks to the progress made by the project launched in 2018 by Confédération paysanne and Adear 11 (the association for the development of agriculture and rural employment), now piloted by Maison paysanne. A project that was hailed in 2020 during the vote on the department’s participation budget: among the 31 selected candidates (out of 259), the Aude mobile slaughterhouse received the highest number of votes and funding of € 82,500.
Enough to maintain the ambition of the project, which is set aside for small ruminants (sheep and goats). Thursday, June 30, at Charlemagne’s Agricultural High School in Carcassonne, the time was at a new stage, with a symbolic but significant general assembly constituting the association “Abat’Mobile Aude”: another step towards community cooperation, which in time will carry it mobile slaughterhouse. A structure that Matthieu Vaslin, involved breeder, reminded of the first ambition: “Recover animals’ deaths and improve their well-being.” A principle based on the elimination of the transport stage: and which therefore led to the choice of combining mobile boxes, moved to the farms to slaughter and bleed the animals, and “plotter”, with modules (office, bedrooms cold rooms, technical rooms, toilets) set aside for reproduction, where the boxes will be brought. Reasons whose location must best respect the balance with the producers: with for the time being the privileged tracks in Laroque-de-Fa, Black Mountain and Piège-Razès.
Breeders “will try” to occupy the various positions
A reflection is still going on as the ideas become more and more clear, especially at the financial level: with a preliminary budget of € 98,500 for the mobile slaughterhouse and € 151,600 for a plot, amounts he helps from the department, and grants from the region and the interco in question should make it possible to obtain (with € 15,000 from Maison paysanne); but also an operating budget of € 75,000 per year, based on 2,600 animals and 40 tonnes of carcasses. With the work of recycling waste already in mind, to reduce the destruction station. And a principle: that of breeders “will try”with responsibility for various positions, from administration to anesthesia. “The forty farmers who are interested in the project are ready to commit to it”recalled Matthieu Vaslin.
A guarantee accompanied by the desire to remind that the mobile slaughterhouse is in no way a threat to the Quillan site: “At least 20 tonnes today go to slaughterhouses outside the department, stressed Olivier Lozat, from Conf ‘. The mobile slaughterhouse would make it possible to bring these quantities back to Aude without harming Quillan’s activity. “ And to continue with the special that excludes the idea of competition: “Quillan is on a basis of 82 euro cents per kg, we would be at 1.5. But with a cost based on the efforts in relation to animal welfare, which will be translated by a brand or a brand.”
The study that demonstrates the benefit of the mobile slaughterhouse over animal stress
By 2020, agricultural engineering students from Montpellier Supagro had been working on the feasibility study of the mobile slaughterhouse; renewed university support in 2021 with a Master 1 dissertation in territorial administration and local development. In 2022 came a new dissertation to consolidate the project: apprentice in professional license “Advisor in breeding specialized in animal welfare” received since September 2021 in Maison paysanne, Cascendra Barthe took a closer look “the impact of the Aude mobile slaughterhouse on animal welfare”. A study conducted with the support of researchers from Ifip (Pig Institute) and Inra, to define the state of stress in animals, with a control batch of 17 sheep and goats, and slaughter (or simulations) in fixed and mobile slaughterhouses and on the Quillan website. On the basis of five indicators (ears, eyes, nostrils and nostrils, tension in the cheek muscles, heart rate), the study gives a clear conclusion by noting the stress peak during boarding, landing and during death. from which one can conclude it “removal of transport and change of environment” contribute to well-being. Without forgetting a point that the student remembers: “Stress reduction reduces cortisol production, which has an impact on meat quality.”