Design and Pilot a State Approved Mobile Slaughter Trailer for Halal Custom Slaughter

2006 Annual Report for FNC05-584

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2005: $17,655.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:

Design and Pilot a State Approved Mobile Slaughter Trailer for Halal Custom Slaughter


• Design and construct mobile facility in collaboration with and approved for custom slaughter by the WI Department of Trade and Consumer Protection.

The preliminary design was completed. Meetings were held with WI, MN and IL food and safety departments regarding the feasibility of the proposed design. The WI regional USDA inspector and area supervisor were also contacted and a meeting held. This resulted in a go ahead from all providing information and feedback.

The 8 x 24 foot truck van body was purchased. The supporting trailer was constructed out of a used mobile home trailer. The van was bolted to the trailer. The roll up door standard on van bodies was removed and replaced with a sliding door constructed from food safe plastic, insulation and stainless steel frame.

The inside walls, ceiling and door were covered with a food safe plastic covering. A second door is being constructed to provide a second exit. All food contact surfaces are stainless steel and have been purchased but not installed. The floor covering has not been installed but has been priced. A ceramic tile is the most cost effective surface since concrete would be too heavy in a portable facility. It will be glued and grouted to the existing floor then sealed.

An incinerating toilet that meets state requirements has been purchased and will be set up in a separate unit.

• Design and construct a humane upright slaughter restraint in collaboration with Dr. Joe Regenstein, from Cornell University from his prototype model.

A restraint has been designed, fabricated and tested. (See attached pictures). [To see the photos, please e-mail the NCR-SARE office at: or call 1-800-529-1342.]

• Pilot the mobile slaughter facility and restraint equipment three times with up to 15 kids. Provide meat as marketing samples to the Somali community through advocates.

The restraint has been piloted more than three times. The meat was not sold, to stay within the State’s inspection policy, but donated to Muslim friends who have helped teach us about halal. (See attached pictures. ) [To see the photos, please e-mail the NCR-SARE office at: or call 1-800-529-1342.]

The facility was not ready to be tested.

• Make all design revisions and improvements.

Design revisions to the restraint have been documented and will be completed during the winter months.

The project is still in process. We have improved negotiating skills with inspectors and other food safety personnel. All expressed willingness to provide direction and support for the facility to meet their standards and interest in the project being successful. We have become more involved with individuals starting up small businesses such as Ethiopian catering, Somali restaurant, Somali deli, and many families that are new immigrants.

A second restraint will be fabricated to take advantage of the pilot slaughters. The head of the animal in particular needs to be in a head holder to allow for one-person slaughter. At his time, a second person is required to prevent the head from moving.

The floor of the unit needs to be installed and the equipment and cutting surfaces installed.

Then an inspection meeting will need to be set up with the WI State and USDA inspectors. Minnesota and Illinois Departments of Food Safety will be updated.

Then the following activities will take place over the summer and fall of 2007:
o Support five producers in the use of the facility either at their property or at a common location. Document with photographs and digital video.
o Slaughter 50 kids in the facility licensed as WI state custom slaughter.
o Finalize CAD drawings of mobile slaughter unit (MSU) and humane upright restraint equipment. Make available on website as a PDF file and as a hard copy at goat, sheep and alternative meat market conferences.

We spoke briefly about the project at the 2006 Sheep Conference in Spooner, WI to a group of 64 attendees. We were not ready to discuss more fully. We also discussed the project with the NW WI Food Alliance Network on two occasions to a group of 13 to 15 participants. This was during discussions on the difficulty of having locally grown meat slaughtered under inspection in our area for sale at Farmer Markets, restaurants, food cooperatives, or other retail outlets that handle locally grown produce in our area.

We will attend two or more goat, sheep or alternative meat conferences to present and /or have a display and disseminate CAD drawings and grant results during late summer or fall of 2007. We have been asked to speak at the WI Grassing Conference at Stevens Point on Feb 3rd and also at a goat workshop on Feb 15th put on by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture goat project.