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Olymel to modernize poultry slaughter system

Company investing $14M to redevelop Quebec poultry processing plant, install new anaesthesia system.

November 17, 2017
By Olymel

The company intends to implement the same slaughtering method by 2019 at its other primary poultry processing plants.

St-Hyacinthe, Que., Nov. 16, 2017 – Olymel is investing $14 million to redevelop a section of its Berthierville, Que., poultry processing plant and install a new CO2 bird anaesthesia system.

The work, which will start in December, should be completed by the fall of 2018 and includes the construction of a new building designed for receiving birds and conducting CO2 anaesthesia.

The company is also adding equipment for the operation of this new slaughtering method and other stages of production.

Improving animal welfare, working environment
In a press release, the company outlined a number of advantages of the CO2 bird anaesthesia system.

First of all, it improves animal welfare by reducing bird stress, in particular due to a 40 per cent larger crate. Reduced bird stress also helps to avoid injuries, consequently improving the quality of the meat.

This system does not require changes to farm buildings.

In addition, CO2 anaesthesia improves the working environment for employees assigned to slaughtering, who will work in an area with better lighting and air conditioning, as well as far less dust.

Finally, the installation of this system will also increase the plant’s production capacity in terms of volume.

The CO2 anaesthesia system that Olymel has chosen meets the industry’s highest standards for animal welfare.

The company intends to implement the same slaughtering method by 2019 at its other primary poultry processing plants in St-Damase, Que., Montérégie. Que., and Clair, N.B. 

The latter is jointly owned with the Westco Group, one of the largest poultry producers in Canada.

In 2011, Olymel installed the same type of CO2 anaesthesia system for turkeys at its St-Jean-Baptiste-de-Rouville turkey plant in Montérégie, Que., jointly owned with Exceldor (Olymel 68% – Exceldor 32%).

Olymel’s Berthierville poultry processing plant in Lanaudière specializes in chicken slaughtering, cutting and deboning, and has a weekly capacity of nearly one million birds. The plant employs more than 425 people.

The majority of its production consists of fresh products, such as trussed chickens for rotisseries and various cuts. The plant also supplies other Olymel further processing plants with fresh poultry meat.