Abattoir Jobs

Abattoirs, or slaughterhouses, are an important cog in the machinery of the food industry. The products that exit an abattoir are used for human consumption, animal feed, soaps, bio fuels, adhesives, and leathers. Although many abattoirs incorporate many highly efficient machines to raise productivity, jobs in the abattoir industry are still in high demand.

Below is a list of Abattoir jobs that are available for those looking:


When the animals arrive at the abattoir, they must be unloaded by hand. Workers route cattle, sheep, and pigs into holding pens while poultry are sorted and placed on conveyors, hung by their feet. Pig's often-times undergo preliminary health inspections at this point. Workers must also weigh the live animals to account for proper yield results. With delicate meats such as veal and sheep, workers are instructed to take special care to process these animals to reduce the risk of stress; if an animal becomes stressed before slaughter then it can compromise the quality of the meat after slaughter.


Workers play a large part in stunning of cattle, sheep, and swine. This process involves stunning the animal. It is considered more humane to do so and it is the law in the United States that all animals be stunned prior to slaughter. Cattle, sheep, and swine are placed in a head-locking device and administered a voltage to the back of their head or to their temples; many of these devices are controlled by workers and are handheld. Small operations still employ handheld electrocutions, which must be administered by a worker. Poultry are commonly run through electrified water, head-down.


Pigs and Poultry do not go through a de-hiding process. They are, instead scalded by hot water to release their pores. Then they pass through de-feathering and de-hairing machines. Pigs are often-times then scrubbed by hand to release even more of the persistent hair.


Poultry go through a number of processes, many of which are performed by workers. The venting process is done by hand, as well as the removal of viscera. Quality control officers keep a close watch on this process as well. Often times the neck removal is done by manual scissors as well. Cattle, pork, and sheep are slaughtered by hand and then portioned, using a reciprocating saw. Workers must perform many of these actions because there are strict guidelines pertaining to the internal organs of slaughtered meat, especially the bowels, which, if severed, contaminate the entire animal and its meat.


Finally, workers are necessary for inspection purposes. Workers account for all inspections and are necessary to check for proper slaughtering and the absence of contaminants and disease. These jobs are vital to keeping the product safe for consumption.

Although sometimes referred to as a dehumanizing occupation, getting an abattoir job is a vital piece of the food industry and without workers to ensure safety and efficiency, the meat industry would cease to be relevant. Unlike common butchers, however, the job of an abattoir worker is more of a support and supervisory job and creates a more efficient and effective industry.