NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Good Abattoir Guide  (Read 120608 times)

Pigs are cool

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: Good Abattoir Guide (version 3)
« Reply #105 on: February 23, 2014, 09:40:59 am »
Just an update on the new abattoir at Leicester Quality Meats. I visited the abattoir a couple of weeks ago to see the operation.
This is one of the modern and welfare friendly abattoirs in the country. I am a consultant for one of the largest free range producers in the country and ex officer with the MLC. I would not hesitate to recommend the facility to Smallholders. The issue about CO2 is this. The gas stuns the pigs only, it is prefered to electrical stunning as the pigs enter in small groups which keeps them calm, they dont have to be chased around by a guy with stunning tongs, or get forced single file up a race with electric goads.There is no squealing shouting and yelling and the staff are respectful of welfare issues. I have visited most of the abattoirs in the UK and this is one of the best.
The owners are farmers themselves.

Carbon dioxide stunning is a contentious issue.

The problem is that pigs, like humans, can sense high levels of carbon dioxide. Subject humans to a significant increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and they will experience respiratory distress and some will even suffer from panic attacks. The evidence suggests that pigs suffer in the same way before losing consciousness. Sure in a 30% carbon dioxide stunning environment the effect is pretty brief, perhaps 30-60 seconds, but you do not get the same welfare issues when you use argon or nitrogen gas, or a proper electrical stun.

Sure electrical or mechanical (in other species) stunning does not look or sound pretty but done properly loss of consciousness is instantaneous. A lot of the stigma involved with these methods stem from people being drawn to poor examples of stunning (eg; the cow that is incorrectly captive bolted several times before a good stun is achieved) or simply misunderstanding what they are seeing (eg; to an outsider an unconscious pig exhibiting tonic-clonic behaviour may be perceived to be conscious and in significant pain).

As for good pig handling it is dependent upon staff expertise and pig temperament, not the type of stunning equipment used.

/tangent


Thank you to everybody who compiled the list of good abattoirs, there is a long list of current and prospective vet students that are looking for placements where it will be a lot of help.
Voss Electric Fence

Caroline1

  • Joined Nov 2014
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Good Abattoir Guide
« Reply #106 on: April 21, 2015, 09:05:27 pm »
Took my pigs to NV Gagens as had a couple of direct comments that staff changes meant the reviews in the guide were out of date.

Have to say the guy that met us at the abbatoir was really helpful and let the pigs walk to the holding pen in their own time. The whole process was completely stress free. The butcher was also really helpful.

Just to note the address needs tweaking in the guide as the abbatoir is at their other shop: 51 High road, gorefield, wisbeach, pe134nd phone: 01945 870325

________
Caroline

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: Good Abattoir Guide
« Reply #107 on: July 03, 2015, 11:16:33 pm »
Just wondered what the feelings were about SE Wales - we have Havards in Caerphilly, Neil James in Raglan and that is it, nothing in Cardiff. We used to have good service from Ensors in Cinderford but they have folded. Both mentioned offer butchery but its adhoc on times and the quality isnt there. The option for us is across the Bridge to Bristol/Somerset.


I'm very concerned that you can raise pigs and other animals to high standard but to be ruined at the abattoir stage however, seems to be less and less to chose from these days.

zackyb

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Good Abattoir Guide
« Reply #108 on: July 20, 2015, 10:22:20 pm »
Hi
I agree - Traves at Escrick are excellent. The first time I took my first pig they were very kind, gave me a tour and talked me through the whole process. One of the gentlemen there told me that he loves animals but loves meat, all animals that take their last journey with them are treated with care and respect. It's family owned and I feel that they care about what they do and yes the vet is good too.

LisaBellamy

  • Joined Mar 2015
Re: Good Abattoir Guide
« Reply #109 on: September 15, 2015, 12:15:41 pm »
We've just taken our 2 Tamworths to J A Jewitts in Spennymoor, County Durham. As first timers they weren't that forthcoming with me with info when I phoned them, but on arrival (my husband took them) they were friendly and treated the pigs very calmly and professionally and the place was very clean and organised and there were good facilities to clean out the trailer. It is a big place but we chose it as recommended by the farmer we bought the pigs from and as they return the carcasses to the butcher we wanted to use. There isn't really anything smaller near us. The only point I'd raise and it's my fault really was that we expected delivery to the butcher the next day as they promised. The pigs didn't turn up and on phoning the abattoir was told that as they were outdoor pigs they needed to send of samples for trichinella testing so they couldn't deliver until they got the OK. I had ticked the uncontrolled housing box on the eAMLl so have learnt a lesson there. But all is well in the end and they've arrived to be butchered this morning.

Steel

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Good Abattoir Guide
« Reply #110 on: August 14, 2017, 10:03:09 pm »
Took my pigs to NV Gagens as had a couple of direct comments that staff changes meant the reviews in the guide were out of date.

Have to say the guy that met us at the abbatoir was really helpful and let the pigs walk to the holding pen in their own time. The whole process was completely stress free. The butcher was also really helpful.

Just to note the address needs tweaking in the guide as the abbatoir is at their other shop: 51 High road, gorefield, wisbeach, pe134nd phone: 01945 870325

Can I ask, has anyone got any up-to-date comments about Gagens? I've booked them to do my first pig in September, then found the comments in the Guide and am considering cancelling and going to Wright's in Boston as a result.

He's a great friendly pig and I won't have him treated roughly.

danccooke

  • Joined Jul 2017
  • Maesycrugiau, West Wales
Re: Good Abattoir Guide
« Reply #111 on: August 25, 2017, 06:47:46 pm »
I would just like to add our experience with Cig Oen Caron in Tregaron Ceredigion.

Overall very pleased, lovely helpful guys especially as this was our first abattoir as i've normally home slaughtered. But as these pigs were being sold on I had to go through the correct channels.

+very helpful and friendly
+Easy unloading, helped and no fuss or even noise just calmly out of the trailer and they mooched into their own seperate pen
+Butchered and bagged into quarters for us as that was how they were being sold
+all round nice guys
+Cuts of meat done very nicely

two very minor negatives and they really are being picky minor things.

- have had better sausages. next time if the pigs are for us I will make my own but i am a bit of a sausage snob.  flavour was fine but texture seemed a little powdery.
- really could do with a website or email address for those of us who are useless at phoning people but this does add to the personal touch so maybe just stay as they are.

Jim Bob

  • Joined Mar 2018
Re: Good Abattoir Guide
« Reply #112 on: March 25, 2018, 09:50:39 am »
Anyone know of an abattoir in Northern Ireland which will take 2 pigs for slaughter.

Onemore

  • Joined Jun 2018
Re: Good Abattoir Guide
« Reply #113 on: June 11, 2018, 01:30:34 pm »
Anyone know of an abattoir in Northern Ireland which will take 2 pigs for slaughter.

Hi, me again.  I've recently looked into this too, and this seems to be extremely difficult in NI.  Grants Meats in Derry I believe will do a private kill, I called and they confirmed they would, but there person I needed to speak to about the details wasn't available when I called.  Having spoken to the Cranswick abattoir in Cullybackey, they reckoned Grants would be the only place in NI that would do this.  Which is pretty outrageous.  Cranswick stated that without nothing that wasn't quality assured "would get through the gate". Which makes life difficult if you want to raise pigs on a small scale.

I'm half considering if I do go for it at some point that the best option may just be to do it myself.  Ultimately this feels like a part of the market that is penalised by both legislation (the illegality of an itinerant slaughterman) and an almost complete lack of market provision.

Would be keen to hear of any small scale pork abattoirs in NI that would meet this need.

 

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