Automatic Equipment for Handling Bung

The objective of this project was to evaluate the benefits and possibilities of adapting the existing automatic pork bung handling equipment, which is in use in Denmark, to slaughter lines for lamb under conventional Australasian lamb processing operations. The lamb slaughter process is very different from the pig slaughter process. In Australia, four abattoirs were visited in order to evaluate if the automatic bung handling equipment could be modified for typical lamb slaughter lines. Comprehensive data and information from the four visits were obtained and subsequently evaluated. 

Manual trails conducted at the abattoirs indicated that the core principle used in pork slaughter lines could be transferred to lamb slaughter lines, with minor adjustments. The optimal location of the equipment to operate was identified to be after the carcasses are shackled in the hind legs, and when the bung is cut partially free but still remaining in its natural position. This location is preferred based on the positioning of the carcass, the optimal process and the space required for the equipment. Furthermore, it was validated that the anal cavity of lamb is generally larger compared to e.g. pigs that are presently handled by the automatic bung handling equipment. This should allow for applying a similar process in an adapted lamb equipment.

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