In Burgundy, a mobile slaughterhouse “proves” that responsible breeding is possible

“You can eat meat without feeling guilty”: in Burgundy, a mobile slaughterhouse, unique in France, moves around farms to spare the animals the stress of the last trip, thus “proving” that responsible breeding is possible.

The endless local road winds through the mouth of the Charolais, land of meat-producing animals, skirting grassy meadows and densely forested hills.

At the end of a muddy path, Arnaud Kubiaczyk’s farm is large enough to accommodate three semi-trailers weighing 25 tons each in its yard, which, once deployed as fairground machines, form the mobile slaughterhouse that will kill five of the 140 cattle. Hereford of modest upbringing.

In the first semi, a door lets in the animal that will be there – as in conventional slaughterhouses – stunned and then slaughtered with a piercing cane pistol, before being dismembered.

The carcass will go in the second truck and the waste in the third.

The device is installed right outside the barn: for its last trip, the ox will only have to travel a few dozen meters.

“Before, I had to take them to the slaughterhouse, 30 minutes away. Here, it takes a minute or two”, celebrates Arnaud.

“The animals are killed where they were born and raised. It’s the same place, the same smells and the animals graze peacefully until the last minute”, explains the breeder, showing his Herefords with their mouths overflowing with hay.

“The stress is minimal”, says Arnaud, who discovered this new system in France “on Facebook”.

“I had heard about mobile slaughterhouses in Sweden. I went to see it and was amazed: it was like magic, we stopped the animals’ stress”, explains Émilie Jeannin, creator of the project and operator. of “sustainable” breeding, favoring as much time as possible in natural grasslands.

“We have been refining our animals for years and all this work can be ruined in a few hours” with the stress of slaughter, which is not only mistreatment but also reduces the tenderness of the meat, underlines the breeder.

– “The taste of respect” –

Since her visit to Sweden in 2016, it has taken six years to complete the project: finding the million and a half euros needed for funding, then obtaining approval, whose dossier “has 180 pages”, sighs Émilie.

After six months of testing, starting at the end of August, final authorization was granted on February 23. “The important thing was to prove that it is operational”, explains Émilie.

“Yes, meat is more expensive, 10 to 15%”, he acknowledges, but “customers are willing to pay more” because “you can eat without feeling guilty”.

While “twenty” similar projects are underway in France, according to Émilie, the creator admits that it will be necessary to wait until June to have a lot of “setback” in financial profitability.

But “Le Bœuf éthique”, a company created to sell meat, already sells “everything that comes in”. And customers are “multiplying”: 30% individuals and 70% professionals, including restaurants and butchers, who want “virtuous” meat, explains Émilie.

Because the company, whose slogan is “the taste of respect”, is not content to eliminate the stress of transport to the slaughterhouse. It also requires responsible slaughter.

“Here we don’t have taxes imposed. We take the time, for example, to see if the animal is well stunned”, confirms the manager of the mobile slaughterhouse, Guillaume. Two animals will be killed today and three tomorrow, while a traditional slaughter usually does 80 an hour.

Defending “the welfare of the animal”, the initiative also aims to guarantee the welfare of the creator thanks to a “fair remuneration”.

“Not only do I have no transport costs to slaughter, but Ethical Beef also buys at 5.20 per kg of carcass. It is about 80 cents better, that is, 8 to 9,000 euros more per year”, says Arnaud Kubiaczyk.

“Quality meat, ecology and fair compensation”, winning trilogy that, hopes the creator, “restore our image a little in these times of + agribashing +”.

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