Small country abattoirs making a comeback

Jon Condon, 27/09/2012


After a sequence of regional abattoir closures on Queensland’s southern Darling Downs and border district which left a void for service kill facilities, circumstances are turning around, with a  number of mothballed small local plants re-commencing operations.

Within a couple of years, larger domestic MSA-licensed plants like Killarney and Pittsworth, and smaller ones like Goondiwindi, Inglewood and Oakey all shut their doors, leaving a big void within a 200km radius of the primary local beef and lamb saleyards centre of Warwick.

Remaining processors and service kill providers like Carey Brothers at Yangan, outside Warwick, were inundated with business, well beyond what they could cope with. The Carey Brothers plant has since undergone a number of upgrades to try to better cope with the demand.

However there has been something of a mini-recovery over the past few months, with a number of smaller sites re-commencing operations, either to service their own wholesale requirements, to provide service kills, or both.

Inglewood Farms, previously operated by Ross Tancred and John Harris, has re-opened under the control of new owner Peter Nankervis in the past six weeks, after ceasing to trade earlier this year.

In previous times, the dual species Inglewood plant had the capacity to kill up to 1000 lambs a week, plus beef.

The multi-species Crows Nest meatworks has also re-opened about three months ago, after a lengthy closure, under the control of Lindsay Taylor’s Taya Meats.

Originally set up to do export of game meats, Crows Nest has now been re-configured and licensed for lambs and cattle.

The Warwick Meats wholesale business, previously owned by the Freestone Group which went into receivership 15 months ago, has been taken over again by the former owner, Bob Anstey, under the original name. Warwick Meats is getting a service kill done via the Carey Brothers abattoir at Yangan, as did the Freestone Group.


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