Ethical slaughter system gets government backing

Red8 Produce has been granted $712,500 in Commonwealth funding to improve its mobile, modular abattoirs for slaughter on-farm or service a network of farms.

Red8’s founders Sarah Burrows and Anita Taylor developed a portable, scalable, ethical slaughter system via the University of New England’s SMART Region Incubator (UNE SRI).

The company was awarded an Accelerating Commercialisation grant under the Federally-administered Entrepreneurs’ Programme and will test the first Red8 mobile units by the end of the year.

“Transport and yarding introduces a whole lot of possibilities for loss of meat quality, like bruising and dark cutting. Consumers worldwide are expressing concern about the ethical aspects of meat production, and in our Australian grassfed systems, that last trip produces our biggest welfare risks. And as soon as animals leave the farm, they are subject to a whole series of fees, levies and transport costs. On-farm slaughter addresses these issues – but first we had to work out how to make it possible, and how to make it viable,” said Burrows.

The founders created a range of business models which can be purchased or leased to a brand or farmer network.

“We expect this will be particularly attractive to butchers, who increasingly need a point of difference to bring customers inside their doors,” said Burrows.

Its current units process beef cattle and sheep and Red8 is hoping to move into pork, game and feral animal harvesting.

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