Bison Ranch and Non-Profit Organization Partner to Promote Humane and Responsible Slaughter Alternatives
The Socially Responsible Agricultural Project’s Mobile Meat Processing Unit Harvests Bison at Straight Arrow Buffalo Ranch demonstrating stress-free slaughter.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 23, 2013 CONTACT: Laura Krebsbach (402) 770-7731
Broken Bow, NE The Socially Responsible Agricultural Project’s (SRAP) Renewable Harvest Program debuted a USDA-certified Mobile Meat Processing Unit (MMPU) in Nebraska at Straight Arrow Bison Ranch just south of Broken Bow today. The unit harvested 17 bison on the grassland and then took the meat back to Custom Pack in Hastings NE, where it will hang and then be processed for customers of the ranch.
We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Straight Arrow Bison Ranch, said Laura Krebsbach, Director of SRAP’s Renewable Harvest Program. In addition to being a stress-free alternative to trucking livestock to slaughter, the MMPU gives small, responsible, producers an option that will enhance their ability to reach more consumers and grow their markets.
SRAP’s MMPU is USDA certified, which means that meat from the animals slaughtered in the trailer can by sold by the cut in retail outlets such as in restaurants and in grocery stores. Producers also have the option of not using the USDA certification and instead doing a custom slaughter and selling the animal as a whole or half directly to the end user.
For the last year the trailer sat stationary at a ranch in Kansas, where over 20 cattle were slaughtered per week and the trailer passed its trial phase with flying colors. Last month the MMPU was moved to Nebraska, where it will serve as a prototype for producers who are considering building a unit of their own. The prototype unit will be available for use to those groups of producers who are ecologically responsible, practice good animal husbandry and who are either already Animal Welfare Approved or in the process of seeking the approval.
Marty Bredthauer, owner of Straight Arrow Bison Ranch said he is impressed with the MMPU and is thankful for a stress-free slaughter alternative for his bison. This is the most humane and cost-effective way for me to harvest my bison, said Bredthauer. I put so much care into ensuring that my animals have the best possible life and now by bringing the slaughter to the animals instead of taking the animals to the slaughter I am taking additional steps to ensure that their end is quick and humane.
Krebsbach said that her group is putting emphasis on working with producers who put a high value on animal welfare and recognize the need for an alternative to the industrial factory farming and meat-packing system. Krebsbach invited Nebraskan rancher, Kevin Fulton to observe the unit in use. In addition to farming, Fulton holds the Chair position for the Nebraska Agriculture Council for the Humane Society of the United States.
As the Chair of The Nebraska Agriculture Council for The HSUS, I was glad to be invited to observe the mobile meat processing unit in use, said Fulton. These slaughter units have the potential to allow farmers and ranchers to implement higher animal welfare practices even at the time of slaughter. In that slaughter is a necessary part of the food animal industry, the MMPU offers a welcome alternative to long distance transport and inhumane factory practices.
The MMPU will remain operational in Nebraska for the time being. Krebsbach said she is the process of networking with groups of producers who might be interested in using the trailer to see if a MMPU might be a right fit for them. Krebsbach’s group plans to provide free-of-charge technical assistance to those groups of producers who are committed to building an MMPU of their own.
The Socially Responsible Agricultural Project provides free, professional assistance to communities working to protect themselves from factory farms and their impact on local communities and populations, and to those who are trying to reclaim agriculture by producing and marketing sustainable agricultural goods. More information can be found at https://www.sraproject.org.