Provenir's mobile abattoir clears another hurdle

A mobile processing unit could soon be operating in Victoria

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REGULATORY HURDLES: Provenir co-founder and chief executive Chris Balazs says he's hopeful the company's mobile processing unit can be up and running, in Victoria, by early next year.

REGULATORY HURDLES: Provenir co-founder and chief executive Chris Balazs says he's hopeful the company's mobile processing unit can be up and running, in Victoria, by early next year.

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Provenir's mobile slaughter unit has cleared another hurdle.

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The mobile processing unit, being operated by Bannock based company Provenir, could be up and running in Victoria in the early part of next year.

Provenir already has a commercial operating licence in NSW.

The Victorian Parliament recently passed legislation clearing a further regulatory hurdle to unit's operation.

Read more: Mobile abattoir granted a commercial operating licence in NSW

The passing of the Primary Industry Legislative Amendment Bill cleared the first hurdle to operating in Victoria, Provenir chief executive Chris Balazs said.

"Now we have to deal with a few other legislative and regulatory frameworks," he said.

PrimeSafe regulations were among the approvals that still needed to be put in place.

"What the passage of the bill means is that PrimeSafe now has the legislative framework, within which they can implement a licence for mobile abattoirs," he said.

He was hopeful all regulatory approvals would be in place, by March or April, next year.

"PrimeSafe will be releasing an industry consultation paper, in the coming weeks, and we'll obviously be keenly interested in seeing what that involves.

"We'll be working directly with PrimeSafe and Agriculture Victoria."

Other regulatory approvals included biosecurity and livestock disease notification requirements and complying with Environmental Protection Authority laws.

"One thing we are not short of is interest from farmers," Mr Balazs said.

"It's about animal welfare, it's about minimising stress.

"Where there is an opportunity to completely remove a step in the supply chain that is most stressful, is where farmers are very keen to talk, and work, with us."

Eastern Victorian Labor MP Harriet Shing told state parliament the amendments meant mobile abattoirs were now included in the Meat Industry Act, 1993.

"Making sure that we have an opportunity for primary producers to slaughter livestock and process meat in vehicles, is, in fact, something that needs to be done to accommodate the way in which many people farm," Ms Shing said.

"Even where we do have an obvious compliance with national food safety standards, we have an express inclusion of vehicular and mobile slaughterhouses in this legislation."

Eastern Victorian Liberal MP Edward O'Donohue said he thought it was a good step forward, although not without its challenges.

"Making sure mobile abattoirs and mobile butchers maintain the high standards that I think we all expect, when it comes to OH&S and oversight," Mr O'Donahue said.

"They are challenges that the regulator, and those providing the service, will need to meet, and that would be my expectation."

But he said he knew of many small farmers on the Mornington Peninsula, in the urban fringe between Clyde and Koo Wee Rup, and into west Gippsland who would welcome on-farm abattoir or butchery services.

"I can think of several farmers that I know personally who would welcome this proposal for change, noting the issues with compliance and oversight that I referred to earlier," he said.

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