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Animals 2018, 8(12), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8120229

Mobile Poultry Processing Unit as a Resource for Small Poultry Farms: Planning and Economic Efficiency, Animal Welfare, Meat Quality and Sanitary Implications

1
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari ed Ambientali, Università di Perugia, Borgo 20 Giugno, 74, 06123 Perugia, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Via San Costanzo, 4, 06126 Perugia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 November 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
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Simple Summary

Poultry meat production is now based on fast-growing strains, with consequences for animal health and welfare. There is also an increasing demand for products from extensive rearing systems; there are, however, several criticisms including the difficulty of slaughtering chickens from a logistic, legislative and economic point of view. A possible solution could be represented by the use a Mobile Poultry Processing Unit (MPPU), which directly reaches the poultry farms. The aim of this review is to analyse the requisites and economic efficiency of a MPPU prototype in Italy; further, the related animal welfare aspects and the qualitative and sanitary implications are discussed.

Abstract

Nowadays there is an increasing demand for poultry products from alternative rearing systems. These systems, commonly named pastured poultry production (PPP), are more expensive than intensive rearing system but sustain biodiversity, local economies and farm multi-functionality besides providing meat to which consumers attribute high ethical value and quality. PPP generally uses large outdoor runs, small number of animals and requires chickens adapted to natural environment. One of the most relevant obstacles to further development of PPP systems is related to the slaughtering of animals economically and at the same time complying with the sanitary regulations to maintain food safety standards. A possible solution could be represented by a Mobile Poultry Processing Unit (MPPU), which directly reaches the poultry farms. MPPU can consider a good compromise for the niche production providing an opportunity to small farmers to exploit the full potential of their production system. The aim of this review is to analyse the essential requisites and MPPU economic viability in an Italian system. Qualitative, societal aspects are discussed together with bird welfare and hygiene implications. The case study indicates the viability of MPPUs but notes that up scaling to medium sized operations would not be permissible under current EU regulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mobile Poultry Processing Unit; pastured poultry production; animal welfare; meat quality; economic efficiency Mobile Poultry Processing Unit; pastured poultry production; animal welfare; meat quality; economic efficiency
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Cartoni Mancinelli, A.; Dal Bosco, A.; Mattioli, S.; Ranucci, D.; Castellini, C. Mobile Poultry Processing Unit as a Resource for Small Poultry Farms: Planning and Economic Efficiency, Animal Welfare, Meat Quality and Sanitary Implications. Animals 2018, 8, 229.

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