GERMANY, Bonn. The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) announced its plans to promote mobile slaughter units to strengthen rural areas and diversify the domestic supply chain.
According to a BMEL press release, projects focusing on developing new partially or fully mobile slaughter methods, meat quality assessments, and better marketing strategies will receive funding as part of Germany’s strategy to promote innovations in the agricultural sector. Besides privately-owned businesses, Universities and research facilities are also eligible to apply.
Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr Ophelia Nick, said “We want to strengthen the diversity of agricultural enterprises. Meat from mobile slaughter units has the potential to strengthen rural areas. We want to promote modern, applicable and humane methods for mobile slaughter. Therefore, we are looking forward to getting fresh impulses from start-ups - especially from rural areas."
The ministry stated that the number of smaller abattoirs in Germany has been declining for years. Due to the progressing centralisation of slaughter and processing facilities, livestock farmers find it increasingly difficult to transport their animals to a nearby location. Thus, especially smallholder farmers may experience additional financial challenges.
The ministry recognised the importance of on-farm slaughter and processing solutions, particularly for smaller conventional or organic livestock farmers and direct-to-consumer marketers, while also emphasised the necessity for rural areas such as the Alps.
Following new EU regulations on on-farm and pasture slaughter that came into force in 2021 enabled the funding scheme, stated the BMEL. The regulations allow butchers and formerly prohibited businesses to slaughter their animals on the farm. Under the supervision of local authority, up to three cattle, six pigs or three solipeds can be slaughtered through mobile slaughter units.