Abattoir Services

​The Public Abattoir provides services related to the slaughter for bovines, swine, equines and small ruminants. Such services involve a number of processes, mainly: the slaughtering of five animal species (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses); a service of cutting and deboning of carcasses in a separate hall; the dispatch of carcases to butcher shops or meat processors; and disposal or recovery of animal by-products. It is the biggest red meat establishment in Malta (the Gozo abattoir is the only other, though much smaller, such establishment on the islands), and is therefore an essential cog in the local meat industry as all cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses reared and slaughtered in Malta are slaughtered in this facility.


Animals brought to the abattoir are received for slaughter in one of the two lairages where they are inspected for animal welfare issues and hygiene. Besides, a Veterinarian undertakes an ante-mortem inspection to assess the animal’s suitability for slaughter and eventual human consumption. Animals are slaughtered in one of the two slaughtering lines within the abattoir. Slaughter is carried out in a humane manner in line with international animal welfare standards. Following slaughter, carcasses undergo a degree of processing such as de-hiding and removal of intestines. Additionally, samples are taken from each carcass for additional testing at the National Veterinary Laboratory. Finally, veterinarians carry out a post-mortem inspection, on each head to confirm its suitability for human consumption. Carcasses are also classified to ascertain the quality of their meat. Carcasses are then stored in temperature controlled rooms in preparation for dispatch and/or cutting and de-boning.