abattoir defined in 1939 yearabattoir - Abattoir (Fr.);
abattoir - Public building in which cattle are slaughtered. Various methods of the slaughter of animals for human food have existed from the beginnings of civilization, but there is no reliable evidence of any public abattoirs until the 14th century, when laws governing their use were introduced in England and Germany. Progress in this direction, however, was slow, and the number of public abattoirs in England and Wales was, for a period, not adequate to public requirements.
The private slaughter-house is usually attached to the premises of the meat purveyor. It is frequently nothing more than a shed, with no special design or arrangement. The chief objections to a private slaughter-house are that it is frequently in a crowded thoroughfare, therefore a nuisance from the continual driving of animals to it, and a cause of depreciation in the value of adjacent property. More serious is the impracticability of efficient control and inspection. As a rule, a private slaughter-house consists of only one compartment. It is usually impossible for one butcher to provide a slaughter-house for himself with separate compartments for slaughtering, cleaning the offal, etc.
During the last 40 years many fine public abattoirs have been erected in the United Kingdom by local authorities, and a new department of the engineering profession has been formed in order to provide up-to-date equipment for them. Public abattoirs should be situated conveniently near the cattle market, and, if possible, away from the centre of the town and the principal traffic. The market for dead meat should also be close at hand; in fact, the whole business of the meat industry of the city should be centralized as far as possible. The flooring should be impervious, a complete system of drainage instituted, and an abundant water supply laid on. Within the abattoir two systems of construction are adopted, the open-hall is a large building without any subdivisions, there being nothing inside except the mechanical equipment for slaughtering. In the booth system the hall is divided into separate compartments. This permits privacy in the operations, and the letting of separate booths to individual butchers. In C4reat Britain the booth system is usually adopted.
During the Second Great War the Ministry of Food concentrated slaughtering in a few abattoirs to economize labour and transport and to control distribution.
A large public abattoir suitable for the needs of a great city will usually consist of the following departments: (1) lairage; (2) slaughtering rooms or halls, subdivided into a hall for cattle, a portion of the same hall for sheep and calves, a hall for pigs, and a hanging-house or cooling-chamber; (3) cold chambers for maturing and storing meat; (4) offal-room and tripe-house; (5) meat inspector's room; (6) room for condemned meat; (7) destructor-room for disposing of condemned meat; (8) engine and boiler house, with steam-boiler, steam-engine, and refrigerating machine; (9) manure depot. See Food, Inspection of. Consult also Public Abattoirs and Cattle Markets, Schwarz.
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