Litchfield

This abattoir was also known as Berrimah abattoir – confusion arises as when the proper Berrimah abattoir was closed it left Carl Mortensen with no where to process his pigs and therefore he built another abattoir to cater to his needs. Litchfield.

Other Names

  • Berrimah
  • Darwin

Current Operation

  • Closed 20071

Location             

  • Berrimah         

Owner  

  •  Carl Mortensen & Jim Scott.4

Operation          

  • Processing pigs goats and buffalo1
  • Was purpose built for attached piggery outlet, processing 6000 pigs a year11
  • Had ability to process cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and deer1

History                

1991

  • Berrimah abattoir (NT) closes, Carl Mortensen had a piggery which used to use Berrimah to slaughter. When it closed he was forced to send pigs south to be slaughtered.4

1992

  • Built – facility was unique in that it was low cost and flexible using modulars and quick to construct.4
    • Cost $500,000 – multi species plant that could slaughter and bone4
    • Building took 10 weeks4
    • Modular design allowed it to be moved if necessary4
    • Panel clad module 8m long X 4m wide  and 5m high erected in 8 major sections on stilts4
    • Plant consisted of knocking box & cradle dressing, added chillers and freezer modules.4
    • stockyards were being built4
    • Stilts allowed truck access in all weather and effluent control.4
    • Employed 4 people – working 4 days a week at full capacity4
    • Could process 35 cattle or 135 pigs a day4
    • also processes buffalo, horses4

Photo_edited-1Source – ‘New abattoir for $500,000’ Top Paddock Newsletter #1 Sept 1993.

Litchfield abattoir showing its modular construction

  1993

  • Opened1
  • Was built after the Berrimah abattoir (NT) (Angliss) abattoir closed and owner wasn’t able to find a slaughter point for the piggery that he operated, so he built his own adjoining the piggery.2
  • Also operated as a service kill abattoir for 40 cattle on cattle days2

              2007   

  • Closed1
  • Owner wished to retire and was unable to find a buyer for the piggery.2
  • Used to run a herd of 300 sows producing roughly 6,000 pigs a year,3
    • Had done this since 19723
    • Demand had fallen – mainly in big chain stores not wanting carcase pork.3
    • Difficult to get butchers to work due to pay and hours required3

 

Sources

  1. ‘Northern Australian Beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’. ABARE 2012
  2. Personal communication of person who knew the owner. 04.11.13.
  3. ‘Darwin abattoir closes’ ABC Rural. 20.04.2007
  4. ‘New abattoir for $500,000’ Top Paddock newsletter #1 Sept 1993

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