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abattoir design slaughterhouse design

Slaughterhouse designs are different due to different livestock and poultry abattoirs, including cattle or cow, horse or donkey, camel, goat or sheep, pig or hog, chicken or broiler, birds or pigeon, and rabbit, etc. They are different in pre-slaughter, slaughter workshops, pre-cooling and cold storage, etc.
This article make senses for almost all the animals abattoir design, including small scale, medium scale, and large scale livestock and poultry slaughterhouses.

  • What is the abattoir design?
  • The best specific abattoir construction design
    • General requirements for abattoir architectural design
    • Special requirements for some operating rooms
      • Pre-slaughter building
      • Emergency room
      • Harmless treatment room
      • Changing room
      • Hand-washing equipment
      • Toilets
      • By-product processing room
      • pre-cooling room
      • Deboning room
      • Cold storage
      • Power supply system
      • Water supply system
      • Drainage system
    • Abattoir’s inner environment

What is the abattoir design?

The abattoir design is a reasonable layout of the plant, slaughter processing equipment or machine, cold storage system, water and power supply system, sewage treatment system, and environment in a slaughterhouse. There are various factors such as slaughter capacity, budget, size of the plant land and slaughterhouse, which we should consider. It is the basic guidance for an abattoir construction.

abattoir design slaughterhouse design

The best specific abattoir construction design

Abattoir construction is divided into production area and non-production area. There are some basic requirements for architectural design. And of course, there are special requirements for the design of some operating rooms.

1. General basic requirements for abattoir architectural design

  • Abattoir basic construction should make workers maintain and clean easily in future. The building material should prevent the carcass and internal organs from being contaminated.
  • The ground is made of non-slip, pressure-resistant, impermeable and easy to clean materials. Drainage system is with proper slope. The channel (groove) should be with sufficient width to receive animals’ blood.
  • The drainage ditch should have facilities to prevent the inflow of solid waste.
  • The surfaces of walls and columns are white or light-colored. The part within at least one meter from the ground should be laid by impermeable, non-absorbent, and easy-to-clean materials. The surface should be smooth and free of cracks and always kept clean.
  • The roof or ceiling should be white or light-colored and easy to clean. Please avoid dust accumulation.
  • The material for entrance & exit, doors & windows and other channels should be strong, easy-to-clean, and impervious.
  • Good ventilation and exhaust.

2.  Special requirements for some operating rooms in abattoir design

Pre-slaughter building

  • The ground and passageway should be concrete. And there should be proper space for trucks to go and turn. Of course, enough washing water taps are necessary.
  • There should be a roof. The building materials should be strong and well ventilated. And there should be enough space for pre-slaughter inspection.

Emergency room

  • It should be isolated from the slaughterhouse.
  • Hand washing sterilizing equipment.
  • With animals’ carcass hanging equipment.
  • Internal organs inspection facilities.

Harmless treatment room

  • Harmless treatment equipment is necessary. Should keep doing harmless treatment and keep files.

Changing room

  • Changing room or dressing room should be located at an appropriate place near the slaughter operation workshop. It should be enough space, and personal storage bins are necessary.

Hand-washing equipment

  • Install hand washing and sterilizing equipment in each operation area.
  • The abattoir shall be installed with disinfecting tank and hand washing and sterilizing equipment, including liquid detergent and hand drying devices.


  • Isolated from the slaughtering, meat cutting and packaging room.
  • With foot-operated flushing and keep it clean at all times.
  • With lighting, good ventilation, insect-proof, hand dryer or hand towel and rodent-proof facilities.
  • With a sign “wash hands after toilet”.

By-product processing room

  • Washing tables and shipping equipment are necessary.

Pre-cooling room design

  • The space should be able to sustain less than six pigs/hogs or three cattle/cow per two meters on the hanging rail.
  • The temperature of animals’ carcass center should be reduced to 0℃ to 5℃ by the pre-cooling equipment within 18 hours after being slaughtered.
  • The walls should be covered with light-colored impervious materials. Good drainage facilities are necessary on the ground. The temperature of pre-cooling room should be evenly distributed and maintained at 0℃ to 5℃.

Deboning room

  • Isolated from slaughter operations.
  • Should be equipped with workbench and conveying device.
  • The room humidity should be under 85%, while the temperature should be 12℃. It should be equipped with air supply equipment.
  • Should be equipped with cold and hot water tanks for washing at appropriate places on the working line.

Cold storage room

  • Freezing facility: the temperature should be adjusted to below -40℃. And recording devices should be equipped.
  • Cold storage and frozen storage: The products center temperature should be maintained at 4℃ to -2℃, when the cold storage is full. The frozen storage should be able to maintain the products center temperature of the product below -18℃ and has an automatic temperature recording device.
  • Thawing room: It should be isolated from meat cutting and packaging room or located in the cold storage room. Storage products should be at least 5cm away from the ground and wall.
  • Unpacking operation area: it should be closed to thawing room, cutting and packaging room, and the freezing room. And it is necessary to be isolated from cutting and packaging room. The facilities to collect the cartons, plastic bags, baskets and other items should be equipped.

Power supply system

  • External power supply system
  • Workshop power distribution system
  • Lighting system
  • Maintenance department of electrical devices or equipment

Water supply system

  • Should be equipped with water purification or disinfection facilities. All the water used for carcasses, offal, and machines or equipment related to carcasses and offal should be treated. After treatment, the water quality should reach drinking water quality standards.
  • Underground water source should be kept at least 15 meters away from pollution sources (e.g. septic tanks and waste dumps). The reservoir of abattoir should be a closed structure. It should be kept over 3 meters away from the dirty place, septic tank, and other pollution sources.
  • Hot water with over 83℃ for sterilization should be adequately supplied. And a thermometer should be equipped where hot water is being used. Please clearly mark that pipeline is hot and where water outlet is.
  • The devices to prevent pollution should be equipped. Water storage tanks or towers or pools should be built with non-toxic material that will not pollute the water.
  • Pipes for drinking water and non-drinking water should be installed separately and clearly marked.

Drainage system

  • Production wastewater refers to the water polluted by chemical substances and mechanical impurities during production.
  • Production wastewater refers to the water that has been used in the production process but has not been polluted or has been only slightly polluted.
  • Domestic wastewater is used to discharge water discharged from toilets, rain and snow precipitation on building roofs, roads, storage yards, and greening.

Abattoir’s inner environment

The environment in the field shall be kept clean at all times and a complete drainage system shall be equipped. The blank land should be paved with concrete, asphalt or greening to reduce dust generation. The fences or walls should be around the second field.

Summary: we believe that by reading the above article carefully, you should have a very detailed understanding of the entire abattoir design process and requirements . But what I want to remind you here is that the design of the abattoir requires professional knowledge to complete. You only need to understand clearly which issues need attention. The rest will be solved by professionals.

We are sure that you will have a better understanding of the key factors and requirements about abattoir design by reading the above article. Of course, slaughterhouse design requires very professional knowledge. Have a rough ideas of the key factors and requirements is enough for you. The specific things will be handled by professionals.

We will update more details about abattoir slaughter line next weeks.

18 thoughts

  1. Am an animal scientist currently working as Lecturer In Nigeria..Pls kindly foward the PDF file of the Design’s quite interesting and it will serve as teaching aid

      1. Hi Lucas,
        Would it be possible to share this PDF for use in a Process Design Research Project for a college report?
        Thank you,

  2. Hi,

    I am highly interested in your design for teaching purpose, I shall be grateful if you can kindly send me a copy of your design in PDF at you convenience. Thanking you in advance.

  3. Hi Lucas,
    Would it be possible to share this PDF for use in a Process Design Research Project for a college report?
    Thank you,

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