MSU arrives in Windhoek

29 Jul 2016

MSU arrives in Windhoek
Meatco’s Mobile Slaughter Unit (MSU) is tailored to the unique circumstances of our communal producers in the NCA and aims to bring slaughtering services closer to farmers in that area. In this way, Meatco continues to maintain its statutory obligation as prescribed by the Act while addressing operational losses that have accrued in running the northern abattoirs that were not economically viable.


Meatco’s lease agreement to manage the NCA abattoirs on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) expired on 4 March 2016. In October 2015, Meatco gave notice to the MAWF informing them that we will not extend the agreement, due to the huge losses Meatco and our producers have carried in the NCA for the last 23 years.

The abattoir on display during the open day

The abattoir on display during the open day

However, the Meatco Board made it clear that we will retain our presence in the NCA but by way of a New Business Model that makes business sense and whereby we can deliver a service to our producers in the NCA.

As a company, Meatco stands by our core purpose and reason for our existence, namely maximising producer prices sustainably within the specific environment of our business operations.

The MSU targets the local market and therefore the products will only be for local consumption. The unit complies with all health regulations and is registered as a C-class abattoir.

Advantages of the MSU

Reduction of transport cost for producers

The MSU will visit pre-established central points in the region for the first 12 months. This means the abattoir goes to farms and producers do not have to transport cattle over long distances. The first slaughter will be at Mutambo Ribebe Quarantine camp, situated 50km west of Rundu. This means farmers in the Kavango area will no longer have to transport their animals over 550km to slaughter them in Oshakati.

Creating local employment

Only core slaughter staff will be employed while the fixed-term seasonal support staff will be recruited in the villages where slaughtering will take place, thus creating local employment.

Operational flexibility

Up to 25 cattle can be slaughtered with ease every day.

Stimulating local entrepreneurship

All offal will be sold directly to villagers and to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under the supervision of the Meatco Foundation.

Reduction of operational costs

Operating the MSU costs a fraction of the current fixed abattoirs.

Future relocation

In case of future outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, the first option will be to move MSU to another region within the NCA.

MSU layout

The trailer consists of a:

1. mechanical room
2. cooling room
3. carcass splitting area
4. eviscerating area
5. hide pulling area
6. bleeding area

MSU capacity and waste water

The MSU can:

• Slaughter 25 cattle per day, a hundred cattle per week, 400 cattle per month, and a maximum of 4,800 per year.
• Slaughter for four days of the week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). On Fridays, the unit will be relocated to the next slaughter venue.

What happens to waste water?

• The MSU has a storage tank for waste water and blood. Waste water is disposed at a sewerage treatment plant or spread on pasture;
• The onboard waste water treatment system treats used water. Environmentally friendly chemicals will be used to clean the unit’s slaughter area.


• The MSU truck cost about N$5 million and was manufactured and assembled in the USA.

Various stakeholder entering the unit for inspection

Various stakeholder entering the unit for inspection