Skip to main content
Book chapter, 2022

Avoiding live-animal transport to slaughter: mobile abattoirs

Hultgren, Jan


Large-scale, automation, high process line speeds and a cheap and easily replaceable workforce enabled the industrialisation of slaughter during the 19th and 20th centuries, and continued consolidation, vertical integration and high-tech inventions took the development to the present day. The first mention of organised mobile slaughter may have been in the United States towards the end of the 20th century. Since then, the development has to some extent been determined by regulations on official meat inspections. At present, fish, poultry, livestock, reindeer and bison are slaughtered in various types of mobile establishments across many countries, but the total numbers are not known. This chapter examines the implications of mobile slaughter for animal welfare, followed by a discussion on its sustainability and feasibility. Finally, reference is made to many training resources that provide guidance for those considering setting up a mobile slaughterhouse, and summarise experiences from already started or completed projects in several countries. By eliminating liveanimal transport and increasing farmers’ control over the food chain, mobile slaughter contributes to rural development and potentially improves animal welfare and meat quality. The success of mobile abattoirs is affected by many factors and profitability largely depends on the opportunities to create added value and get premium retail prices for end products. Practical experience and further research can provide a basis for a slightly more liberal view of local meat and mobile slaughter.

Published in

Book title: Preslaughter handling and slaughter of meat animals
ISBN: 978-90-8686-372-3, eISBN: 978-90-8686-924-4
Publisher: Wageningen Academic Publishers

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Environment and Health

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)