Rolling up to farms in San Juan County, Wash., a “slaughterhouse on wheels” provides small and remote farms with a new way to butcher and process meat. Prior to the introduction of the mobile slaughter unit, farmers on the San Juan Islands would have had to truck their livestock over 200 miles by land and sea to the nearest fixed-kill facility. But new mobile processing units enable the animals to be butchered on the same farm where they were born and lived.
The success of the mobile slaughterhouse model relies on increased consumer demand for organic local meat and also on inspectors that work on site for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The mobile slaughterhouse shown in this essay is the first in North America to operate with USDA approval, without which, the farmers would not be able to sell their meat on a consumer marketplace.