How to start an abattoir

How to Start an Abattoir in South Africa

Standard Approval for an Abattoir in South Africa

A abattoir or slaughter facility has to be certified by an Provincial Executive Office of the province it is located. All abattoirs should be monitored by an Veterinarian Public Health Officer. Lets take a look on How to Start an Abattoir on your Farm.

How to apply to build an Abattoir

  • Plan your building layout for your Abattoir.
  • Plan how you are going to get rid of carcasses and spills.
  • Visit the Department of Agriculture on provincial level.
  • Contact the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries
  • Changing Room, Health and Safety

Plan your Layout of your new Abattoir

Planning Your building layout is Crucial to your abattoir plan. You need to take your layout plan with when you go an visit the Provincial Executive Officer (PEO)

Including in your Abattoir layout you need to have a processing area, refrigerated store, dressing table, cleaning basin and bleeding cones.

You need to make sure that you will have clean water and depending if you are starting a livestock or poultry slaughterhouse you will need electricity.

How to Start an Abattoir in South Africa

Visiting the Department of Agriculture on Provincial level

  • You need to go and see your Department of Agriculture on provincial level. If you are not sure how to contact them you can get information from your local State Veterinary Service Office.
  • They are there to help, so don’t be afraid to explain to them what your plans are and how you are going to dispose of carcasses and blood. If you are not sure, they will advise you and show you the correct methods of disposing of carcasses, feathers and other spills.
  • The Provincial Executive Officer will have to evaluate and approve your building plan. It is highly recommended to visit the PEO first and discuss your plans so that he or she can assist you in the planning of your abattoir

Contact the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries

Abattoirs are governed by the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and they will have to come and visit your farm or smallholding to discuss water and disposable of carcasses.

Make sure that you have studied your water rights, have approval from neighbours and that you have your protocol in order when they start asking about your planning around fires and natural disasters. Once again, they are there to advise you if you are not 100% sure.

Changing Rooms and Health and Safety

Depending on the size of your abattoir, you might need to employ staff. Staff need changing rooms, toilets and possibly a shower if you are going for a 2000 plus per week slaughter house.

Your staff will need face masks, gloves, safety boots and overalls. Make sure that you include that on your business plan when visiting an PEO

Meat Safety Act

Safe meat refers to inspected meat by a health inspector and approved for human consumption.
Only qualified meat inspectors are allowed to approve safe meat.
Approved meat will have a purple stamp on each quarter of the carcass.

Chickens do not get stamped but need an inspector to approve the meat. In most cases, by South African law you are allowed to train your own inspector that has a minimum qualification of Grade 12. After 6 months, the trainee can do a trade test and become an qualified poultry meat inspector. An owner or manager of a chicken abattoir are never allowed to be an meat inspector.

People to contact for information on how to build a new Abattoir

How to Start an Abattoir on your Farm

Veterinary Public Health Contacts in your Province

How to Start an Abattoir on your Farm

Question: I would really like to start an Abattoir in my Township but I do not have enough space on my property.

Answer: You can follow the same protocol to apply for an Mobile Abattoir as a normal abattoir.

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20 Replies to “How to Start an Abattoir in South Africa”

  1. I would like to start a pig abattoir in Radium Limpopo. I have a 23 hectares of land and currently started with pig farming. How much would it cost and how big should it be to eventually slaughter 100 pigs per day.

  2. Can you be able to start Abattoir while you starting to have chicken business or you need a operational business to start the abattoir

    1. You can start a abattoir without farming with chickens. It could be a separate business and also a service to other chicken farmers

  3. Point of correction, you do not train your own meat inspector. I meat inspector is someone with Bio-science qualification with a minimum of 3 years of studying. In accordance to the meat safety act of 2000, a meat inspector must be a holder of at least Diploma in Animal Health and Production or Environmental Health from an approved institution

    1. Yappy I understand your point regarding becoming a meat inspector, however when it comes to poultry, you can train your own. As you probably know meat inspectors has to be present at the day of slaughter to inspect and certify the meat and in some cases charge per carcass. Small scale chicken abattoirs slaughtering 250 birds per week can not afford an inspector nor is it feasible for an inspector to travel to rural areas and inspect only 250 chickens. So in rural areas, you are allowed to train poultry meat inspector as long as they have grade 12 and are not an owner operator.
      My information is directly from the Provincial Executive Office in Bredasdorp Western Cape.
      Thanks for your input – Regards

  4. I’m interested in building an abourtour but can’t get componies that can supply me with equipment and proper planning.

  5. I worked at Pick n Pay as a butchery manager for 15 years. Then five years ago I started my own small butchery business in Mtubaba Northern Kwazulu Natal. Now we want to start a small abattoir with a small community of this area. We do have registered Coperative. We wanted to know how we can get a grant from Agriculture in order to start our business.

    1. Yes absolutely. Not only will you lower your business operation cost, but you can make extra income with serving farmers around you

  6. I would like to start a certified mobile abbottoir for rabbits. What can I do and how much I need and where to go.

  7. whoah this blog is great i love studying your posts. Keep up the good paintings! You realize, lots of persons are searching around for this information, you can help them greatly.

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