Standard design for small-scale modular slaughterhouses


The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-102740-4

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction, should be addressed to the Director. Publications Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Via delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome, Italy.



In many developing countries lack of appropriate slaughtering facilities and unsatisfactory slaughtering techniques may cause unnecessary losses in meat as well as in valuable byproducts and may be a major constraint in increasing animal production. Animals are slaughtered in places which are frequently polluted with blood, intestinal contents and dirty effluents, and which are not protected against insects, rodents and dogs. Meat produced under such conditions will quickly deteriorate due to the bacterial load and could cause food poisoning. In the absence of inspection, meat from sick or parasite infested animals may well be a vector for spreading diseases affecting human beings as well as animals. Furthermore, meat quality is adversely affected by careless handling under unsanitary conditions in the meat market or shops. In addition, byproducts are not properly utilized and, instead of being an asset, are considered as a nuisance.

The establishment of slaughter facilities of a sufficiently high standard but still simple and inexpensive would improve the situation. Therefore, the Animal Production and Health Division of FAO has prepared this publication for the construction of a small-scale modular slaughterhouse, with the assistance of the Agricultural Services Division (FAO) and the services of a consultant (Mr. Butcher from Ashworth, Morrison and Cooper, N. Zealand). Every attempt has been made to use locally available construction materials as well as non-sophisticated equipment. It is hoped that the document will provide useful information for engineers, technologists, international funding agencies, cooperatives of small producers, and others involved in meat development.

When establishing slaughterhouses each country or even separate localities must adopt a solution essentially based on special local conditions. FAO's design is modular to enable the various options to be included or excluded as the need arises. Each module is small in size and deals with a specific activity. There are also a number of options available within the different modules (such as construction materials and methods of treatment of byproducts). Each module has its own bill of quantities and can be costed separately.

The central module is the slaughter floor which is technically equipped for killing cattle, sheep, goats and pigs and has a surface area of 26 m2. Other modules can be added to this slaughter floor for such operations as byproduct utilization, meat preservation, processing and butchering. Projects addressing all links in the production chain are more successful than those on a single activity. Designs therefore include a meat market, in order to facilitate the integration of production, processing and marketing.

The publication includes operational procedures for the facilities but these may have to be modified to accommodate local conditions and customs. A case in point is the level of slaughter numbers given on page 3. Depending on the number of staff assigned and hours worked, the throughput of animals per day can be varied from that given.

Slaughterhouses are a key element in the meat production and distribution chain, but it is essential to provide adequately trained staff to improve slaughter hygiene and meat quality, reduce raw material losses, increase utilization of byproducts, and thereby increase profitability and financial returns to livestock producers. For this reason, FAO technical assistance to governments in establishing small-scale modular slaughterhouses also includes the organization of training courses for the meat workers who are to operate these facilities.

This scheme has been introduced as a key to developing small slaughterhouses at a village level in developing countries. It can serve as the basis for training and replication, and can thus contribute to rural development.

Already small-scale modular slaughterhouses based on this scheme are under construction or in the planning stage (Cook Islands, including a 7-country TCDC component, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru) or information has been formally requested by countries in Asia (Nepal, Bangladesh), the Caribbean (St Vincent, Dominica, Guyana and the Dominican Republic) as well as in Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador).

Hyperlinks to non-FAO Internet sites do not imply any official endorsement of or responsibility for the opinions, ideas, data or products presented at these locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided. The sole purpose of links to non-FAO sites is to indicate further information available on related topics.