In 2011 Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) formed a working group to look at ways of providing an abattoir service for Skye and Lochalsh after a gap of over twenty years. Currently crofters and farmers in the region have to transport animals for slaughter to Dingwall, a journey of up to three and a half hours, or even take them by ferry to Lochmaddy. The Scottish Government has agreed to fund a study into options for funding, building and operating a small-scale slaughtering and processing facility which would be co-operatively owned and operated. The study will be carried out by a Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) team led by Portree-based senior consultant Siobhan Macdonald.
The aim of this study is to produce costed plans for a facility appropriate in scale and ownership structure, with a flexible operating strategy able to respond to seasonal demand. The resulting report and associated documents will be made freely available to other communities and groups of producers wishing to develop their own small-scale abattoir facilities.
The study is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2013 and the results will be posted on the SCF website shortly after, and this will be announced in the media.