The Grand Forks and Boundary Agriculture Society’s mobile abattoir unit has passed the first test.
Dave Anderson, one of the abattoir project managers, told the Gazette that the abattoir committee has been working to get the mobile abattoir into working shape.
“When I heard they had this thing on the ground but it wasn’t running we formed this committee with the ag society to get it going and that’s what we’ve been working on,” said Anderson.
Anderson said the committee received a loan from Community Futures to get the project up and running.
“On July 14-16, we did a successful run of poultry slaughter with the inspectors,” he said. “We killed 475 birds and we’re now certified to process poultry.”
Anderson said because the abattoir had never been run before they needed two inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture on hand.
“We’d already inspected and tested all the equipment and made sure everything was running,” he said. “We started killing and processing them. We got all the paperwork done so now we’re certified to do other people’s poultry. We’re allowed to sell it anywhere in B.C. because it’s a government inspected abattoir.”
Anderson said that although the unit is a “mobile” abattoir, he doesn’t expect it to be moving around anytime soon.
“We don’t have a truck to pull it,” he said. “To move it somewhere you’d also need a docking station wherever you put it.”
Anderson said it’s quite expensive to build a docking station. “By the time you get the gravel pad down, the potable water, the power set up, it works into a few thousand bucks. Nobody wants to do that. Right now we’ve got it in one spot and we’ll probably be there for the next year as we figure out if it’ll be feasible to operate.”
Anderson said the ag society is currently in the infancy stages with the abattoir.
“We’re certified for chickens,” he said. “We’ve got two other local ranchers who we’ll do this fall.”
Anderson said they hope to do a test run in the future to see if they can process cows and pigs but there are a few hurdles they need to overcome first.
“We have to be able to take our waste to the regional district dump and right now we’re not allowed to,” he said. “Until we can deal with our waste—we can’t kill cows.”