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Title:
MOBILE ABATTOIR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/016661
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A mobile module for meat processing comprising a housing; and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing is provided. The mobile module may be a wheel-mounted, towable module. Also provided is a system for meat processing comprising a plurality of mobile modules, each of the mobile modules comprising a housing and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing.

Inventors:
TAYLOR ANITA (AU)
BURROWS SARAH (AU)
Application Number:
AU2020/050772
Publication Date:
February 04, 2021
Filing Date:
July 29, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
RED EIGHT PRODUCE PTY LTD (AU)
International Classes:
A22B7/00; A22C17/00; A22C18/00; B60P3/05
Domestic Patent References:
WO2018064253A12018-04-05
WO1994009633A11994-05-11
Foreign References:
DE3711832A11988-10-20
US8870636B22014-10-28
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IP GATEWAY PATENT AND TRADE MARK ATTORNEYS PTY LTD (AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A mobile module for meat processing, the mobile module comprising a housing; and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing, wherein:

a length of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 12.5 m or less; a breadth of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 2.5 m or less; a height of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 4.3 m or less; and

a weight of the mobile module is about 4500 kg or less.

2. The mobile module of claim 1 , wherein the mobile module is a wheel-mounted, towable module.

3. The mobile module of claim 2, comprising a towing component comprising a towing frame.

4. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the housing is a substantially enclosed or enclosable housing.

5. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the housing comprises a processing doorway adapted for passage of an animal or carcass therethrough.

6. The module of claim 5, wherein the housing comprises an entry processing doorway and an exist processing doorway.

7. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the components adapted for meat processing comprise a carcass transfer component; and a carcass cutting component.

8. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the components adapted for meat processing comprise an animal stunning component.

9. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the components adapted for meat processing comprise a refrigeration component.

10. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the mobile module comprises a user sanitation component.

11. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the mobile module comprises an equipment sterilisation component.

12. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the mobile module comprises a ventilation component.

13. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the mobile module comprises an electrical power component.

14. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the mobile module comprises a lighting component.

15. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the mobile module comprises a pressurised water component.

16. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the mobile module comprises a heated water component.

17. The mobile module of any preceding claim, wherein the mobile module comprises a pest control component.

18. A mobile module for meat processing comprising a housing; and a carcass cutting component and a cutting transfer component within the housing, wherein: a length of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 12.5 m or less; a breadth of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 2.5 m or less; a height of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 4.3 m or less; and a weight of the mobile module is about 4500 kg or less.

19. The mobile module of claim 18, wherein:

the carcass transfer component comprises a transfer rail, wherein the transfer rail is located at or towards a roof of the housing of the mobile module and extends between an entry processing doorway and exit processing doorway of the housing, and

the carcass cutting component comprises a cutting rail located at or towards the roof of the housing; and a cutting support, wherein the cutting support comprises a support rail located at or towards the roof of the housing; and a weight balance connected to the support rail,

optionally wherein the transfer rail and the cutting rail are the same rail.

20. The mobile module of claim 18, wherein the carcass transfer component comprises a transfer cradle located towards a floor of the housing, and/or a transfer rail located at or towards a roof of the housing of the mobile module, and

the carcass cutting component comprises a cutting cradle located towards a floor of the housing and/or a cutting rail located at or towards a roof of the housing, optionally wherein the transfer cradle and the cutting cradle are the same cradle and/or the transfer rail and the cutting rail are the same rail.

21. A mobile module for meat processing comprising a housing; and a stunning component adapted to render an animal unconscious, wherein:

a length of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 12.5 m or less; a breadth of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 2.5 m or less; a height of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 4.3 m or less; and

a weight of the mobile module is about 4500 kg or less.

22. A mobile module for meat processing comprising a housing; and a refrigeration component and a carcass transfer component comprising a transfer rail located within the housing, wherein:

a length of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 12.5 m or less; a breadth of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 2.5 m or less; a height of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 4.3 m or less; and

a weight of the mobile module is about 4500 kg or less.

23. The mobile module of any one of claims 18-22, wherein the mobile module is a wheel-mounted, towable module.

24. A system for meat processing comprising a plurality of mobile modules, each of the mobile modules comprising a housing and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing, wherein:

a length of each of the mobile modules, or the housing thereof, is about 12.5 m or less;

a breadth of each of the mobile modules, or the housing thereof, is about 2.5 m or less;

a height of each of the mobile modules, or the housing thereof, is about 4.3 m or less; and

a weight of each of the mobile modules is about 4500 kg or less.

25. The system of claim 24, wherein the plurality of mobile modules comprises a stunning module; a slaughter module; a dressing module; and a chilling module.

26. A system for meat processing comprising a plurality of mobile modules of any one of claims 1 to 23.

27. A method of transporting the mobile module of any one of claims 1-23, including steps of connecting the mobile module to a vehicle; and transporting the mobile module using the vehicle.

28. A method of transporting the system of any one of claims 24-26, including steps of connecting each of the plurality of mobile modules of the system to a vehicle; and transporting each of the plurality of mobile modules using the vehicle.

29. The method of claim 27 or claim 28, wherein the vehicle to which the one or more mobile modules are connected comprises an Aggregate Trailer Mass towing capacity of less than about 4500 kg, or less than about 3500 kg.

30. A method of assembling a system for meat processing, including a step of connecting a plurality of mobile modules wherein each of the plurality of mobile modules comprises a housing; and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing, and wherein:

a length of each of the mobile modules, or the housing thereof, is about 12.5 m or less;

a breadth of each of the mobile modules, or the housing thereof, is about 2.5 m or less;

a height of each of the mobile modules, or the housing thereof, is about 4.3 m or less; and

a weight of each of the mobile modules is about 4500 kg or less.

31. The method of claim 30, wherein each of the plurality of mobile modules is a mobile module of any one of claims 1-23.

32. A method of configuring a system for meat processing comprising a plurality of mobile modules wherein each of the plurality of mobile modules comprises a housing and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing, and wherein:

a length of each of the mobile modules, or the housing thereof, is about 12.5 m or less;

a breadth of each of the mobile modules, or the housing thereof, is about 2.5 m or less;

a height of each of the mobile modules, or the housing thereof, is about 4.3 m or less; and

a weight of each of the mobile modules is about 4500 kg or less,

the method including a step of removing one of the plurality of mobile modules from the system and/or adding one of the plurality of plurality of mobile modules to the system. 33. The method of claim 32, wherein each of the plurality of mobile modules is a mobile module of any one of claims 1-23.

34. The method of claim 32 or claim 33, wherein the mobile module that is removed from the system and/or the mobile module that is added to the system is a mobile module of any one of claims 1-23.

35. A method of processing meat including steps of transferring an animal or a carcass to the mobile module of any one of claims 1-23, and processing the animal or the carcass with the mobile module.

36. A method of processing meat including steps of transferring an animal or a carcass to the system of claim 24 or claim 25, and processing the animal or the carcass with the system.

37. The method of claim 36, including steps of:

processing a first meat type with the system;

removing one or more of the mobile modules from the system and/or adding one or more mobile modules to the system; and

processing a second meat type with the system.

Description:
MOBILE ABATTOIR

[0001] This invention relates to meat production. More particularly, the invention relates, although is not limited, to a mobile abattoir that can be assembled from towable modules.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Abattoirs or slaughterhouses are facilities where animals are slaughtered. Typically, abattoirs are adapted for the slaughter of animals to obtain meat for human consumption. In some cases, abattoirs may be otherwise adapted, such as to obtain pet meat or other animal products.

[0003] Animal slaughter on an industrial scale is associated with a range of challenges, including in respect of commercial logistics, animal welfare, environmental issues, and public health requirements. One key concern from an animal welfare perspective relates to live transport of animals, and associated time in transport vehicles, feed lots, and holding yards. The live transport process can be stressful for animals, and may involve e.g. cramped conditions, excess heat, and limited access to food, water, and fresh air.

[0004] Further to welfare concerns, exposure of animals to stressful conditions leading up to and during slaughter has been shown to adversely affect meat quality. For example, exposure to various types of stress can result in meat having undesirable characteristics in terms of pH, colour, water content, tenderness, glycogen content, lactic acid content, and/or bruising.

[0005] Accordingly, approaches for animal slaughter that minimise exposure of animals to stress would be desirable. New developments in mobile abattoir technology may be especially desirable, as such technology has the potential to eliminate, or at least reduce, the need for live animal transport.

[0006] The reference to prior art in the background is not, and should not be taken, as an acknowledgement or suggestion that the referenced prior art forms part of the common general knowledge in any country or jurisdiction.

SUMMARY

[0007] Broadly provided by the present invention is a mobile module for meat processing. Also broadly provided is a system for meat processing comprising a plurality of mobile modules. Suitably, mobile modules of the invention are towable modules. [0008] In a first broad form, the invention provides a mobile module for meat processing, the mobile module comprising a housing; and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing.

[0009] In embodiments of the first form, a length of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 15 m or less, such as about 12.5 m or less.

[0010] In embodiments, a breadth of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 3 m or less, such as about 2.5 m or less.

[0011] In embodiments, a height of the mobile module, or the housing thereof, is about 5 m or less, such as about 4.3 m or less.

[0012] In embodiments, a total weight of the mobile module is about 4500 kg or less, such as about 4000 kg or less, or about 3500 kg or less.

[0013] Suitably, the housing of the mobile module of the first form is a substantially enclosed or enclosable housing. Suitably, the housing is adapted to be weather resistant. In embodiments, the housing comprises a floor, roof, wall, and door and/or doorway arrangement.

[0014] In embodiments, the housing of the mobile module comprises a processing doorway, adapted for passage of an animal or carcass therethrough. In embodiments, the housing comprises an entry processing doorway and an exit processing doorway. In embodiments, the processing doorway comprises a removable door or a hinged door.

[0015] In embodiments, the housing of the mobile module comprises a user doorway, adapted for passage of a user therethrough. In embodiments, the user doorway comprises a hinged door.

[0016] Suitably, the housing of the mobile module is a wheel-mounted housing. In embodiments, the wheel-mounted housing comprises, or is connected to, at least two wheels, or at least four wheels. In embodiments, the wheels of or connected to the wheel mounted housing are unpowered wheels.

[0017] Suitably, the mobile module comprises a towing component. In embodiments, the towing component comprises a towing coupling. In embodiments, the towing component comprises a towing frame. The towing coupling and/or the towing frame may be of or connected to the housing of the mobile module.

[0018] Various components adapted for meat processing may be located within the housing of mobile modules of the first form of the present invention. [0019] In embodiments, the one or more components adapted for meat processing located within the housing of the mobile module comprise a carcass transfer component. Suitably, the carcass transfer component is adapted to facilitate transfer of an animal body or carcass within the housing of the mobile module. In embodiments, the carcass transfer component is adapted to transfer an animal body or carcass between an entry processing doorway of the housing and an exit processing doorway of the housing.

[0020] In embodiments, the carcass transfer component comprises one or more of a transfer rail; a transfer coupling; a transfer winch; and a transfer cradle.

[0021] In embodiments, at least a part of the carcass transfer component is located at or towards a roof of the housing. In an embodiment, the carcass transfer component comprises a transfer rail located at or towards the roof of the housing wherein an animal body or carcass connected thereto can be transferred along the transfer rail. In embodiments, the transfer component comprises a transfer coupling connected or connectable to the transfer rail to facilitate connection between the animal body or carcass and the transfer rail.

[0022] In embodiments, the carcass transfer component further comprises a transfer winch located at or towards a roof of the housing. In embodiments, operation of the transfer winch is adapted to transfer a carcass or animal body onto and/or off a transfer rail of the transfer component.

[0023] In embodiments, at least a part of the carcass transfer component is located at or towards a floor of the housing. In an embodiment, the carcass transfer component comprises a transfer cradle located at or towards the floor of the housing, wherein an animal body or carcass supported thereon can be transferred using the transfer cradle.

[0024] In embodiments, the one or more components adapted for meat processing located within the housing of the mobile module comprise a carcass cutting component. Suitably, the cutting component is adapted to facilitate cutting or separation of parts of an animal body or carcass. In embodiments, the carcass cutting component is adapted to facilitate one or more of bleeding of an animal body or carcass, skinning of an animal body or carcass, removal of waste portions of an animal body or carcass, and splitting of an animal body or carcass. [0025] In embodiments, the cutting component comprises at least one of a cutting rail; a cutting cradle; a cutting tool; and a cutting support.

[0026] In embodiments, at least a part of the cutting component is located at or towards a roof of the housing. In an embodiment, the cutting component comprises a cutting rail located at or towards a roof of the housing, wherein the cutting rail is adapted for hanging of an animal body or carcass therefrom during cutting.

[0027] In embodiments, at least a part of the cutting component is located at or towards a floor of the housing. In an embodiment, the cutting component comprises a cutting cradle located at or towards a floor of the housing, wherein the cutting cradle is adapted for supporting an animal body or carcass thereon during cutting.

[0028] In embodiments, the cutting component comprises a cutting tool that is a knife or a saw. In an embodiment, the cutting tool is a powered cutting tool, such as a power saw. In embodiments the powered cutting tool is selected from the group consisting of a hydraulic powered cutting tool, a pneumatic powered cutting tool, and an electric powered cutting tool.

[0029] In embodiments, the cutting component comprises a cutting support that comprises a rail. In embodiments, the cutting support comprises a balance. In an embodiment, the cutting support comprises a support rail located at or towards a roof of the housing; and a weight balance connected to the support rail, wherein the weight balance is connectable to a cutting tool and adapted to offset weight of the cutting tool.

[0030] In embodiments, the one or more components adapted for meat processing located within the housing of the mobile module comprise a stunning component. Suitably, the stunning component is adapted to render an animal unconscious.

[0031] In embodiments, the stunning component is or comprises a knocking box. In embodiments, the stunning component is or comprises a stunning tool. In an embodiment the stunning tool is a powered stunning tool, such as a powered captive bolt tool. In embodiment, the powered stunning tool is selected from the group consisting of a hydraulic powered stunning tool, a pneumatic powered stunning tool, and an electric powered stunning tool.

[0032] In embodiments, the one or more components adapted for meat processing located within the housing of the mobile module comprise a refrigeration component. Suitably, the refrigeration component is adapted to maintain decreased temperature within the housing. In embodiments, the refrigeration component comprises a cold air vent.

[0033] In embodiments, the one or more components adapted for meat processing located within the housing comprise a weighing component. Suitably, the weighing component is adapted to weigh an animal body or carcass, or part thereof.

[0034] Suitably, the weighing component comprises a scale. In embodiments, the scale is connected to a rail, such as a transfer rail and/or cutting rail, located at or towards the roof of the housing.

[0035] Mobile modules of the first form of the invention may comprise various other components.

[0036] In embodiments, the mobile module comprises a power component, such as an electrical power component. Suitably, the power component is adapted to supply and/or control power, such as electrical power, within the housing of the mobile module. In embodiments, the power component comprises one or more of a power outlet; a power inlet; a power isolator; and a light switch.

[0037] In embodiments, at least a part of the power component is located within the housing. In an embodiment, the power component comprises a power outlet located within the housing.

[0038] In embodiments, at least a part of the power component is located outside of the housing. In an embodiment, the power component comprises a power inlet and/or power box located outside of the housing.

[0039] In embodiments, the mobile module comprises a lighting component. Suitably, the lighting component is adapted to supply light within the housing of the mobile module. In embodiments, the lighting component comprises a light bar, such as an LED light bar.

[0040] Suitably, at least a part of the lighting component is located within the housing. In embodiments, the lighting component comprises a light bar, such as an LED light bar, within the housing. In embodiments, the light bar is located at or towards a roof of the housing.

[0041] In embodiments, the mobile module comprises a ventilation component. Suitably, the ventilation component is adapted to maintain air quality in the housing of the mobile module. In embodiments, the ventilation component comprises an exhaust fan. [0042] Suitably, at least a part of the ventilation component is located within the housing. In an embodiment, the ventilation component comprises an exhaust fan located within the housing. In embodiments, the exhaust fan is located at or towards a wall of the housing.

[0043] In embodiments, the mobile module comprises an air conditioning component. Suitably, the air conditioning component is adapted to maintain desirable air temperature for a user in the housing of the mobile module.

[0044] Suitably, at least a part of the air conditioning component is located within the housing. In an embodiment, the air conditioning component comprises an air conditioning vent located within the housing.

[0045] In embodiments, the mobile module comprises a user sanitation component. Suitably, the user sanitation component is adapted to prevent or constrain contamination between a user of the mobile module, and meat being processed within the housing of the mobile module. In embodiments, the user sanitation component comprises one or more of a sanitation basin; a sanitation agent dispenser; and a sanitation dryer.

[0046] Suitably, at least a part of the user sanitation component is located within the housing. In embodiments the user sanitation component comprises a sanitation basin located within the housing. In embodiments, the sanitation basin is located at or towards a wall of the housing.

[0047] In embodiments, the mobile module comprises a pressurised water component. Suitably, the pressurised water component is adapted to supply pressurised water within the housing of the mobile module. In embodiments, the pressurised water component is or comprises a hose and/or a hose reel.

[0048] Suitably, at least a part of the pressurised water component is located within the housing. In embodiments, the pressurised water component comprises a hose reel located within the housing. In embodiments, the hose reel is located at or towards a wall of the housing.

[0049] In embodiments, the mobile module comprises a heated water component. Suitably, the heated water component is adapted to supply heated water within the housing of the mobile module. In embodiments, the heated water component comprises a storage water heater, such as a gas water heater. [0050] Suitably, at least a part of the heated water component is located outside of the housing. In embodiments, the heated water component comprises a storage water heater located outside of the housing. In embodiments, the storage water heater is located at or towards a wall of the housing.

[0051] In embodiments, the mobile module comprises a pest control component. Suitably, the pest control component is adapted to control pests, such as insect pests, within the housing of the mobile module. In embodiments, the pest control component comprises a light trap and/or an electrocutor trap.

[0052] Suitably, at least a part of the pest control component is located within the housing. In embodiments, the pest control component comprises an insect light trap and/or electrocutor trap located within the housing. In embodiments, the insect trap is located at or towards a wall of the housing.

[0053] In embodiments, the mobile module comprises a waste disposal component. Suitably, the waste disposal component is adapted to transfer waste away from the mobile module. In embodiments, the waste disposal component comprises a waste disposal hatch. In embodiments, the waste disposal component comprises a waste disposal pipe.

[0054] In embodiments, at least a part of the waste disposal component is located within the housing. In an embodiment, the waste disposal component comprises a waste disposal hatch located within the housing. In embodiments, the waste disposal hatch is located at or towards a floor of the housing.

[0055] In embodiments, at least a part of the waste disposal component is located outside of the housing. In an embodiment, the waste disposal component comprises a waste disposal pipe located outside of the housing. In embodiments, the waste disposal pipe is located at or towards a floor of the housing.

[0056] In embodiments, the mobile module comprises a workspace component. Suitably, the workspace component is adapted to support material with which a user of the mobile module works. In embodiments, the workspace component is or comprises a counter. In embodiments, the workspace component is or comprises a bench.

[0057] In embodiments, the workspace component comprises a cutting surface, adapted to support a carcass or meat therefrom for cutting by a user. In embodiments, the workspace component comprises an administration surface, adapted to support documents or computing technology or the like for accessing by a user.

[0058] Suitably, at least a part of the workspace component is located within the housing. In an embodiment, the workspace component comprises a bench located within the housing. In embodiments, the bench is located at or towards a wall of the housing.

[0059] In embodiments, the mobile module comprises a sterilisation component. Suitably, the sterilisation component is adapted to sterilise equipment used during meat processing within the housing of the mobile module. In embodiments, the equipment sterilisation component is or comprises a knife steriliser. In embodiments, the equipment sterilisation component is or comprises a saw steriliser.

[0060] Suitably, at least a part of the sterilisation component is located within the housing. In an embodiment, the equipment sterilisation component comprises a knife steriliser located within the housing. In an embodiment, the knife steriliser is located at or towards a wall of the housing. In an embodiment, the equipment sterilisation component comprises a saw steriliser located within the housing. In an embodiment, the saw steriliser is located at or towards a wall of the housing.

[0061] The mobile module of the first form includes and encompasses various aspects, inclusive of first to third aspects of the present invention as hereinbelow described.

[0062] A first aspect of the present invention provides a mobile module comprising a housing; and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing, wherein the one or more components adapted for meat processing comprise a carcass transfer component; and a carcass cutting component.

[0063] In an embodiment, the mobile module of the first aspect is a mobile dressing module.

[0064] In an embodiment, the mobile module of the first aspect is a mobile slaughter module.

[0065] In an embodiment, the mobile module of the first aspect comprises:

a carcass transfer component comprising a transfer rail, wherein the transfer rail is located at or towards a roof of the housing of the mobile module and extends between an entry processing doorway and exit processing doorway of the housing; and a carcass cutting component located within the housing comprising: a cutting rail located at or towards the roof of the housing; and a cutting support, wherein the cutting support comprises a support rail located at or towards the roof of the housing and a weight balance connected to the support rail.

[0066] The transfer rail of the carcass transfer component and the cutting rail of the carcass cutting component may be the same rail, or different rails.

[0067] The carcass cutting component of the mobile module may further comprise a cutting tool, such as a powered cutting tool. In an embodiment, the cutting tool is or comprises a hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric powered saw.

[0068] In an embodiment, the mobile module of the first aspect comprises:

a carcass transfer component comprising a transfer cradle located towards a floor of the housing, and/or a transfer rail located at or towards a roof of the housing of the mobile module; and

a carcass cutting component comprising a cutting cradle located towards a floor of the housing and/or a cutting rail located at or towards a roof of the housing.

[0069] The transfer cradle of the carcass transfer component and the cutting cradle of the cutting component may be the same cradle, or different cradles.

[0070] The transfer rail of the carcass transfer component and the cutting rail of the carcass cutting component may be the same rail, or different rails.

[0071] The carcass cutting component of the mobile module may further comprise a cutting tool, such as a powered cutting tool. In an embodiment, the cutting tool is or comprises a hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric powered saw.

[0072] A second aspect of the invention provides a mobile module comprising a housing and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing, wherein the one or more components adapted for meat processing comprise a stunning component.

[0073] In an embodiment, the mobile module of the second aspect is a mobile stunning module.

[0074] In an embodiment, the mobile module of the second aspect comprises:

a stunning component adapted to render an animal unconscious prior to slaughter, wherein the stunning component is or comprises a knocking box.

[0075] The stunning component of the mobile module may additionally or alternatively comprise a stunning tool, such as a powered stunning tool. In an embodiment, the stunning tool is or comprises a hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric powered captive bolt tool.

[0076] A third aspect of the invention provides a mobile module comprising a housing; and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing, wherein the one or more components adapted for meat processing comprise a transfer component and a refrigeration component.

[0077] In an embodiment, the mobile module of the third aspect is a mobile chilling module.

[0078] In an embodiment, the mobile module of the third aspect comprises:

a carcass transfer component comprising a transfer rail located towards a roof of the housing; and

a refrigeration component comprising a cold air vent located at or towards a wall of the housing.

[0079] A fourth aspect of the invention provides a system for meat processing comprising a plurality of mobile modules, wherein each of the plurality of mobile modules comprise a housing; and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing.

[0080] In embodiments of the fourth aspect, the system comprises at least three or at least four mobile modules.

[0081] Suitably, each of the plurality of mobile modules of the system of the fourth aspect is a mobile module of the first form or the first to third aspects.

[0082] In embodiments, the system of the fourth aspect comprises a mobile dressing module; a mobile stunning module; a mobile slaughter module; and/or a mobile chilling module.

[0083] In embodiments of the system of the fourth aspect an exit processing doorway of at least one of the plurality of mobile modules is connected with an entry processing doorway of another of the plurality of mobile modules.

[0084] In an embodiment, the system of the fourth aspect comprises:

an exit processing doorway of a mobile stunning module in connection with an entry processing doorway of a mobile slaughter module;

an exit processing doorway of a mobile slaughter module in connection with an entry processing doorway of a mobile dressing module; and/or an exit processing doorway of a mobile dressing module in connection with an entry processing doorway of a mobile chilling module.

[0085] A fifth aspect of the invention provides a method of transporting a mobile module of the first form or the first to third aspects, including steps of connecting the mobile module to a vehicle; and transporting the mobile module using the vehicle.

[0086] In embodiments, the method of the fifth aspect is a method of towing the mobile module. Suitably, the step of connecting the mobile module to the vehicle includes connecting a towing component of the mobile module to the vehicle.

[0087] In embodiments of the fifth aspect, the vehicle to which the mobile module is connected is a car, 4WD, SUV, or pickup truck, or the like. In embodiments, the vehicle to which the mobile module is connected comprises an Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) towing capacity of about 5000 kg or less, such as about 4500 kg or less, about 4000 kg or less, or about 3500 kg or less.

[0088] A sixth aspect of the invention provides a method of transporting a system of the fourth aspect, including steps of connecting each of the plurality of mobile modules of the system to a vehicle; and transporting each of the plurality of mobile modules using the vehicle.

[0089] In embodiments of the sixth aspect, the step of connecting each of the plurality of mobile modules to a vehicle includes connecting each mobile module to a respective vehicle; and transporting each of the plurality of mobile modules using the respective vehicles.

[0090] In embodiments of the sixth aspect, the vehicle to which each of the plurality of mobile modules is connected is a car, 4WD, SUV, or pickup truck, or the like. In embodiments, the vehicle to which each of the mobile modules is connected comprises an Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) towing capacity of about 5000 kg or less, such as about 4000 kg or less, about 4500 kg or less, or about 3500 kg or less.

[0091] A seventh aspect of the invention provides a method of assembling a system for meat processing, including a step of connecting a plurality of mobile modules, wherein each of the plurality of mobile modules comprises a housing; and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing.

[0092] In embodiments, each of the plurality of mobile modules that are connected according to the method of the seventh aspect is a mobile module of the first form or the first to third aspects. [0093] In embodiments, the method of the seventh aspect includes a further step of exchanging at least one of the plurality of mobile modules for a further mobile module comprising a housing and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing. Suitably, the further mobile module is a mobile module of the first form or the first form or the first to third aspects.

[0094] An eighth aspect of the invention provides a method of configuring a system for meat processing comprising a plurality of mobile modules, wherein each of the plurality of mobile modules comprises a housing and one or more components adapted for meat processing within the housing, including a step of removing at least one of the plurality of mobile modules from the system and/or adding at least one of the plurality of plurality of mobile modules to the system.

[0095] In embodiments, each of the plurality of mobile modules of the system configured according to the method of the eighth aspect is a mobile module of the first form or a mobile module of the first to third aspects.

[0096] In embodiments, the method of the eighth aspect includes steps of removing at least one of the plurality of mobile modules from the system and adding at least one of the plurality of mobile modules to the system.

[0097] In embodiments, the one or more mobile modules that are removed from the system according to the method of the eight aspect are adapted to process a first meat type, and the one or more mobile modules that are added to the system are adapted to process a second meat type.

[0098] In embodiments, the mobile module that is removed from the system is or includes a first embodiment of the mobile module of the first aspect, and the mobile module that is added to the system is or includes a second embodiment of the mobile module of the first aspect.

[0099] In embodiments, the mobile module that is removed from the system is or includes a first embodiment of a mobile module of the second aspect, and the mobile module that is added to the system is or includes a second embodiment of the mobile module of the second aspect.

[0100] In embodiments, the mobile module that is removed from the system is or includes a first embodiment of a mobile module of the third aspect, and the mobile module that is added to the system is or includes a second embodiment of the mobile module of the third aspect. [0101] A ninth aspect of the invention provides a system assembled according to the method of the seventh aspect. In embodiments, the system of the ninth aspect is the system of the fourth aspect.

[0102] A tenth aspect of the invention provides a system configured according to the method of the eighth aspect. In embodiments, the system of the tenth aspect is the system of the fourth aspect.

[0103] A tenth aspect of the invention provides a method of processing meat, including steps of obtaining a mobile module of the first form or the first to third aspects and/or transferring an animal or animal carcass to a mobile module of the first form or the first to third aspects; and processing meat using the mobile module.

[0104] An eleventh aspect of the invention provides a method of processing meat, including steps of obtaining a system of the fourth, ninth, or tenth aspects and/or transferring an animal or animal carcass to a system of the fourth, ninth, or tenth aspects; and processing meat using the system.

[0105] In embodiments, the method of the eleventh aspect includes steps of processing a first meat type using a first system of the fourth, ninth, or tenth aspects; and processing a second meat type using a second system of the fourth, ninth, or tenth aspects. In embodiments, the method includes a step of converting the first system to the second system.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0106] The invention will be described hereinafter with reference to typical embodiments as set forth in the figures, wherein:

[0107] Figure 1 sets forth a top-down sectional view of a mobile module for meat processing. The mobile module of Figure 1 is an embodiment of a mobile dressing module.

[0108] Figure 2 sets forth a left side sectional view of the mobile module of Figure 1.

[0109] Figure 3 sets forth a right side sectional view of the mobile module of Figure 1.

[0110] Figure 4 sets forth a rear-forward sectional view of the mobile module of Figure 1.

[0111] Figure 5 sets forth a front view of the mobile module of Figure 1.

[0112] Figure 6 sets forth a bottom-up sectional view of the mobile module of Figure 1. [0113] Figure 7 sets forth a front perspective view of an interior frame and wheelbase of the mobile module of Figure 1.

[0114] Figure 8 sets forth front and rear perspective views of exterior panels of the mobile module of Figure 1.

[0115] Figure 9 sets forth a rear perspective view of a mobile module for meat processing. The mobile module of Figure 9 is an embodiment of a mobile dressing module.

[0116] Figure 10 sets forth a front view of the mobile module of Figure 9.

[0117] Figure 11 sets forth a partial underside perspective view of the mobile module of Figure 9, showing a waste disposal pipe.

[0118] Figure 12 sets forth an interior perspective view of the mobile module of Figure 9.

[0119] Figure 13 sets forth an interior perspective view of a mobile module for meat processing, showing a split carcass hanging from a transfer/cutting rail. The mobile module of Figure 13 is an embodiment of a mobile dressing module.

[0120] Figure 14 sets forth a simplified top-down sectional view of a first arrangement of mobile modules in a system for meat processing.

[0121] Figure 15 sets forth a simplified top-down sectional view of a second arrangement of mobile modules in a system for meat processing.

[0122] Figure 16 sets forth a diagrammatic view of a system for meat processing.

[0123] Figure 17 sets forth a simplified top-down sectional view of a mobile module for meat processing. The mobile module of Figure 17 is an embodiment of a mobile stunning module.

[0124] Figure 18 sets forth a simplified top-down sectional view of a mobile module for meat processing. The mobile module of Figure 18 is an embodiment of a mobile slaughter module.

[0125] Figure 19 sets forth a simplified top-down sectional view of a mobile module for meat processing. The mobile module of Figure 19 is an embodiment of a mobile chilling module.

[0126] Figure 20 sets forth side views of (A) the mobile module of Figure 17; (B) the mobile module of Figure 18; (C) the mobile module of Figure 19.

[0127] Figure 21 sets forth a schematic of meat processing using modules and systems as set forth in Figures 1-20, separated into‘dirty’ and‘clean’ areas. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0128] Typical embodiments of a mobile module for meat processing according to an aspect of the invention, mobile module 10, are shown in Figures 1-13. Figures 1-8 show one embodiment of mobile module 10. Figures 9-12 shown another embodiment of mobile module 10. Figure 13 shows another embodiment of mobile module 10. The embodiments of mobile module 10 shown in Figures 1-8 and 9-12, and Figure 13 are highly similar. However, some differences are noted hereinbelow for clarity.

[0129] Mobile module 10 is a mobile dressing module, adapted for carcass dressing. As used herein,“carcass dressing” includes removal of viscera from a carcass, as is known in the art. Mobile module 10 is also adapted for carcass splitting. As used herein,“carcass splitting” includes cutting of a carcass into major portions, such as halving and quartering of a carcass, as is known in the art.

[0130] Mobile module 10 comprises housing 100; carcass transfer component 200; and carcass cutting component 300. Carcass transfer component 200 and carcass cutting component 300 are located within housing 100.

[0131] Mobile module 10 has a length A; a breadth B; and a height C. Length A is 8530 mm. Breadth B is 2440 mm. Height C is 4290 mm.

[0132] Mobile module 10 has a total weight (W) of about 3500 kg or less.

[0133] Housing 100 comprises floor 110; walls 120; roof 130; and doorways 140. Walls 120 comprise wall 121 ; wall 122; wall 123; and wall 124. Doorways 140 comprise entry processing doorway 141 ; exit processing doorway 142; and user doorway 143.

[0134] As best seen in Figure 9, exit processing doorway 142 comprises removable door panel 1421 with weather resistant sealing. Entry processing doorway also comprises a removable door panel substantially the same as door panel 1421. Also best seen in Figure 9, user doorway 143 comprises hinged door 1431 with weather resistant sealing.

[0135] As best seen in Figure 7 and Figure 9, housing 100 is a wheel-mounted housing, with a four-wheel, two-axle arrangement 150 located at an outer side of floor 110.

[0136] As seen in Figures 1-3 and 6, carcass transfer component 200 of mobile module 10 comprises transfer rail 210; and winches 220. Transfer rail 210 and winches 220 are located at roof 130 within housing 100. An entry end of transfer rail 210 is located at entry processing doorway 141. First winch 221 is located at the entry end of rail 210. An exit end of transfer rail 210 is located at exit processing doorway 142. Second winch 222 is located at the exit end of rail 210.

[0137] Carcass transfer component 200 also comprises a transfer coupling (not shown), such as a meat hook. The transfer coupling is connectable to transfer rail 210.

[0138] Winches 220 are absent from the embodiments of mobile module 10 set forth in Figures 9-12 and Figure 13.

[0139] As best seen in Figures 1 , 2, 6, and 7, carcass cutting component 300 comprises cutting rail 310; and cutting support 320. Cutting rail 310 is also transfer rail 210, and is located at roof 130. Cutting support 320 comprises first support rail 321 located at roof 130 towards entry processing doorway 141 ; and second cutting rail 322 located at roof 130 towards exit processing doorway 142. Cutting support 320 further comprises first weight balance 323 connected to first support rail 321 ; and second weight balance 324 connected to second support rail 322.

[0140] Carcass cutting component 300 may further comprise cutting tool 330, typically a powered saw. The powered saw may be e.g. a hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric powered saw, as desired. A typical embodiment of cutting tool 330, powered saw 331 , is shown in Figure 12.

[0141] As best seen in Figures 1 , 7, and 10, mobile module 10 further comprises towing component 400. Towing component 400 comprises towing coupling 410, for coupling to a towbar or tow hitch such as a towbar or tow hitch comprising a tow ball; and towing frame 420. Towing frame 420 is connected to housing 100 at a first end and connected to towing coupling 410 at a second end opposite the first end.

[0142] Mobile module 10 further comprises user sanitation components 500 and 600.

[0143] As best seen in Figures 1 and 3, user sanitation component 500 comprises sanitation basin 510; sanitation agent dispenser 520; and sanitation dryer 530. Sanitation basin 510 is a sink comprising piped hot and cold water. Sanitation agent dispenser 520 is a liquid soap dispenser. Sanitation dryer 530 is a paper towel dispenser. Sanitation basin 510, sanitation agent dispenser 520, and sanitation dryer 530 are located at wall 124 of housing 100, near to exit processing doorway 142. [0144] As best seen in Figures 1 and 2, user sanitation component 600 comprises sanitation basin 610; sanitation agent dispenser 620; and sanitation dryer 630. Sanitation basin 610 is a sink comprising piped hot and cold water. Sanitation agent dispenser 620 is a liquid soap dispenser. Sanitation dryer 630 is a paper towel dispenser. Sanitation basin 610, sanitation agent dispenser 620, and sanitation dryer 630 are located at wall 122 within housing 100, near to entry doorway 141.

[0145] Mobile module 10 further comprises equipment sterilisation components 700 and 800.

[0146] As best seen in Figure 1 , sterilisation component 700 comprises first steriliser 710; and second steriliser 720. First steriliser 710 and second steriliser 720 are respective knife sterilisers. First steriliser 710 and second steriliser 720 are located at wall 124 within housing 100. First steriliser 710 is located near exit doorway 142. Second steriliser 720 is located near cutting rail 311.

[0147] As best seen in Figure 10, sterilisation component 800 comprises saw steriliser 810. Saw steriliser 810 is located at wall 121 near to a wheel arch accommodating wheel arrangement 150, within housing 100.

[0148] As best seen in Figures 4 and 5, mobile module 10 further comprises ventilation component 900. Ventilation component 900 comprises exhaust fan 910. Exhaust fan 910 is located at wall 122 towards roof 130 of housing 100.

[0149] Mobile module 10 further comprises electrical power component 1000. As best seen in Figure 3, electrical power component 1000 comprises power outlet 1010; power isolator 1020; and light switch 1030. Power outlet 1010; power isolator 1020; and light switch 1030 are located at wall 124 within housing 100. As best seen in Figure 5, electrical power component 1000 further comprises fuse box 1040; and power inlet 1050. Fuse box 1040; and power inlet 1050 are located at wall 122 outside of housing 100.

[0150] In the embodiment of mobile module 10 set forth in Figures 9-13, fuse box 1040 and power inlet 1050 are of power box 1060, located outside of housing 100. Power box 1060 comprises fuses and isolation switches (not shown) as are known in the art. Power box 1060 is in wired connection to power outlet 1010, power isolator 1020, and light switch 1030, located within housing 100. Power box 1060 is also in wired connection to hot water system 1310 located outside of housing 100 (described further below). [0151] Electrical power component 1000 of mobile module 10 may further comprise one or more emergency buttons or kill switches (not shown), adapted to cut power to all equipment.

[0152] Mobile module 10 further comprises lighting component 1100. As best seen in Figure 6, lighting component 1100 comprises LED light bars 1110, 1120, and 1130. LED light bars 1110, 1120, and 1130 are located at roof 130 within housing 100.

[0153] Mobile module 10 further comprises pressurised water component 1200. As best seen in Figure 3, pressurised water component comprises hose reel 1210.

[0154] Mobile module 10 further comprises heated water component 1300. As best seen in Figure 3 and Figure 10, heated water component comprises storage water heater or hot water system 1310. Hot water system 1310 is located at wall 122 outside of housing 100.

[0155] Mobile module 10 further comprises pest control component 1400. As best seen in Figures 3 and 4, pest control component 1400 comprises insect electrocutor trap 1410. Insect electrocutor trap 1410 is located at wall 122 within housing 100. Alternatively, pest control component 1400 may comprise an insect light trap (not shown).

[0156] Mobile module 10 further comprises workspace component 1500. As best seen in Figure 1 , Figure 2, and Figure 13, workspace component 1500 comprises bench 1510. In the embodiment of mobile module 10 set forth in Figures 1-8, saw steriliser 810 is located under bench 1510.

[0157] Workspace component 1500 comprising bench 1510 is absent from the embodiment of mobile module 10 set forth in Figures 9-12.

[0158] Mobile module 10 may further comprise waste disposal component 1600. The embodiments of mobile module 10 set forth in Figures 9-12 and Figure 13 comprise waste disposal component 1600, comprising waste disposal hatch 1610; and waste disposal pipe 1620. As best seen in Figure 12, waste disposal hatch 1610 is located at floor 110 within housing 100. As best seen in Figure 11 , waste disposal pipe 1620 is located at floor 110 outside of housing 100.

[0159] Mobile module 10 may further comprise air conditioning component 1700. The embodiment of mobile module 10 set forth in Figure 13 comprises air conditioning component 1700, comprising air conditioning vent 1710. Air conditioning vent 1710 is part of an air conditioning unit located at wall 120 within housing 100.

[0160] Mobile module 10 may further comprise weighing component 1800. The embodiment of mobile module 10 set forth in Figure 13 comprises weighing component 1800, comprising scale 1810. Scale 1810 is a hanging carcass scale attached to transfer/cutting rail 310. Scale 1810 may be Tollable or slidably attached to transfer/cutting rail 310, and adjustably positionable along the rail.

[0161] Looking now at Figures 14-20, typical embodiments of a system for meat processing according to an aspect of the invention, system 50, are shown.

[0162] System 50 comprises mobile module 10; mobile module 20; mobile module 30; and mobile module 40.

[0163] Mobile module 10 of system 50 is as hereinabove described. To avoid doubt, each of mobile modules 20, 30, and 40, are also mobile modules according to aspects of the invention.

[0164] Mobile modules 20, 30, and 40 comprise respective housings and respective components adapted for meat processing located within the respective housings, described further as follows.

[0165] Mobile module 20 of system 50 is a mobile stunning module, adapted for stunning an animal. As best seen in Figure 17 and Figure 20A, stunning module 20 comprises housing 2100; and stunning component 2200 located within housing 2100.

[0166] Housing 2100 of mobile module 20 comprises a floor, wall, roof, and doorway arrangement similar to that of housing 100 of mobile module 10.

[0167] Stunning component 2200 of mobile module 20 comprises a knocking box as are known in the art.

[0168] Stunning module 20 is divided into user area 2300 and animal area 2400. User area 2300 is separated from animal area 2400 by separation wall 2350.

[0169] Mobile module 30 of system 50 is a mobile slaughter module, adapted for killing, bleeding, and flaying of an animal. As best seen in Figure 18 and Figure 20B, slaughter module 30 comprises housing 3100; and transfer component 3200 and cutting component 3300 located within housing 3100.

[0170] Housing 3100 of mobile module 30 comprises a floor, wall, roof, and doorway arrangement similar to that of housing 100 of mobile module 10. [0171] Transfer component 3200 comprises transfer rail 3210 located at the roof of housing 3100; and transfer cradle 3220 located at the floor of housing 3100.

[0172] Transfer rail 3210 and/or transfer cradle 3220 may further form part of cutting component 3300. Additionally or alternatively, cutting component 3300 of mobile module 30 may comprise a mechanical hide puller or the like (not shown), as are known in the art.

[0173] Mobile module 30 further comprises: user sanitation component 3500; equipment sterilisation component 3700; and pressurised water component 31200, located within housing 3100.

[0174] Slaughter module 30 further comprises waste disposal component 31600. Waste disposal component 31600 of slaughter module 30 is similar to waste disposal component 1600 of mobile module 10.

[0175] Mobile module 40 of system 50 is a chilling module, adapted for cold storage of a carcass. As best seen in Figure 19 and Figure 20C, chilling module 40 comprises housing 4100; and transfer component 4200 and refrigeration component 4300 located within housing 4100.

[0176] Housing 4100 of mobile module 40 comprises a floor, wall, roof, and doorway arrangement similar to that of housing 100 of mobile module 10.

[0177] Transfer component 4200 comprises transfer rail 4210 located towards a roof of housing 4100. Transfer component 4200 may further comprise one or more transfer winches (not shown), similar to transfer winches 220 of mobile module 10.

[0178] In one typical embodiment, as shown in Figures 14 and 15, transfer rail 4210 extends between respective processing doorways of mobile module 40. In another typical embodiment, as shown in Figure 16, transfer rail 4210 is arranged as a loop connected to one processing doorway of mobile module 40.

[0179] Refrigeration component 4300 comprises a refrigeration vent (not shown) connected to condenser 4320, located at a wall of housing 4100.

[0180] As best seen in Figures 20A-20C, each of mobile modules 20, 30, and 40 is a wheel-mounted mobile module. Mobile modules 20, 30, and 40 comprise respective four-wheel, two-axle arrangements 2150, 3150, and 4150 located at an outer side of respective floors 2110, 3110, and 4110 of respective housings 2100, 3100, and 4100. [0181] Additionally, as best seen in Figures 20A-20C, mobile modules 20, 30, and 40 comprise respective towing components 2400, 3400, and 4400, connected to respective housings 2100, 3100, and 4100.

[0182] It will further be understood that mobile modules 20, 30, and 40, have length, breadth, height, and weight characteristics equal to or less than the corresponding characteristics of mobile module 10, as hereinabove described.

[0183] In system 50, mobile modules 10, 20, 30, and 40 are suitably connected to allow for various stages of meat processing to occur therein, with animals or carcasses or meat thereof, passing into and/or out of each module.

[0184] As seen in Figures 14-16, in system 50, an exit processing doorway such as 2142 of mobile stunning module 20 is connected with an entry processing doorway such as 3141 of mobile slaughter module 30; an exit processing doorway such as 3142 of mobile slaughter module 30 is connected with an entry processing doorway such as 141 of mobile dressing module 10; and an exit processing doorway such 142 of mobile dressing module 10 is connected with an entry processing doorway such as 4141 of mobile chilling module 40.

[0185] It will be appreciated that, depending on the particular configuration of system 50, entry and exit processing doorways of the mobile modules of the system may be interchangeable. For example, in the configuration depicted in Figure 14, processing doorway 4141 of mobile module 40 is an exit processing doorway, and in the configuration depicted in Figure 15, processing doorway 4141 is an entry processing doorway.

[0186] As best seen in Figure 14, in system 50, transfer rail 3210 of mobile slaughter module 30 is connected with transfer rail 210 of mobile dressing module 10; and transfer rail 210 of mobile dressing module 10 is connected with transfer rail 4210 of mobile chilling module 40.

[0187] It will be understood that system 50 functions as a mobile abattoir, transportable to the location of livestock to be processed. System 50 is particularly adapted for processing of cattle, although without limitation thereto.

[0188] Typical use of system 50 and mobile modules 10-40 thereof will now be described.

[0189] In use, mobile modules 10, 20, 30, and 40 are independently connected to respective vehicles, via respective towing components 400, 2400, 3400, and 4400. Typically, the respective vehicles are cars, commercial 4WDs, or pickup trucks (utes), or the like, although without limitation thereto, which generally having towing capacity of 3500 kg or less. Heavy vehicles, or vehicles otherwise adapted for industrial towing are generally not required due to the size and weight characteristics of mobile modules 10-40.

[0190] Once connected to respective vehicles, mobile modules 10-40 are transported to a location where abattoir services are required. Typically, modules IQ- 40 are transported to a location of an appropriate area containing livestock, such as cattle, where slaughter-ready livestock are present.

[0191] Once at the required location, mobile modules 10-40 are disconnected from the respective vehicles. Mobile modules are then arranged and connected to form system 50. Where possible, a substantially flat location is identified upon which to set up system 50.

[0192] In use, livestock, such as cattle, are transferred individually to stunning module 20, wherein stunning component 2200 is used to stun the livestock, rendering it unconscious.

[0193] In use, after stunning using stunning module 20, the unconscious livestock is transferred to slaughter module 30 through exit doorway 2142 of stunning module 20 and entry doorway 3141 of slaughter module 30, using transfer/cutting cradle 3220 of slaughter module 30.

[0194] Using slaughter module 30, the unconscious livestock is cut and bleeds until dead. The carcass is then skinned and the head, hoofs, and tail removed. Post mortem inspection is also carried out within slaughter module. Each of cutting, bleeding, skinning, and/or head, hoof, and tail removal, and post-mortem inspection, can be performed on transfer/cutting rail 3210 or transfer/cutting cradle 3220, as desired.

[0195] In use, after killing, skinning, and removal of head, hoofs, and tail using slaughter module 30, the carcass is transferred using transfer rail 3210 through exit doorway 3142 of slaughter module 30 and entry doorway 141 of dressing module 10.

[0196] In dressing module 10, the carcass is transferred along transfer/cutting rail 210 to a position near to first support rail 321. The carcass is opened while hung from transfer/cutting rail 210, typically by cutting of the brisket of the carcass using a knife, or a powered saw supported by first support rail 321 and first weight balance 323 of support component 320, and viscera is removed.

[0197] The carcass with viscera removed is then transferred to a position near to second support rail 322 using transfer/cutting rail 210. The carcass is split, e.g. in half, while hung from transfer/cutting rail 210, typically using a powered saw supported by second support rail 322 and second weight balance 324 of support component 320.

[0198] Quality control inspection of the carcass is performed in dressing module 10, after removal of viscera and/or halving.

[0199] In use, after removal of viscera and halving using dressing module 10, the carcass is transferred using transfer rail 210 through exit doorway 142 of dressing module 10 and entry doorway 4141 of chilling module 40.

[0200] Using chilling module 40, the carcass is stored under cold conditions within housing 4100, hung on transfer rail 4210. The carcass is monitored for pH, temperature, and contamination. Further splitting, e.g. quartering, of the carcass may be performed.

[0201] In use, user cleanliness is maintained within system 50 by washing and drying of hands etc. with user sanitation components, such as user sanitation component 600 of mobile dressing module 10.

[0202] In use, cutting tool cleanliness is maintained within system 50 by sterilisation of cutting tools using equipment sterilisation components, such as knife sterilisers 710 and 720 and saw steriliser 810 of mobile dressing module 10.

[0203] In use, waste, particularly animal waste such viscera and blood, can be transferred from system 50 using waste disposal components, such as waste disposal component 1600 of mobile dressing module 10. For example, a waste disposal hose can be attached to waste disposal pipe 1620, waste disposal hatch 1610 can be removed, and waste can be transferred from floor 110 away from housing 100 through waste disposal hatch 1610 and waste disposal pipe 1620, for storage or collection.

[0204] In use, after all required cattle has been processed using system 50, mobile modules 10-40 are separated and cleaning is performed, e.g. using a hose of hose reel 1210 of pressurised water component 1200. Mobile modules 10-40 are then connected to respective vehicles as hereinabove described, and transported away from the location where abattoir services were performed.

[0205] In use, mobile modules such as chilling module 40, containing processed carcasses, may be transported to a suitable location for downstream meat processing while maintaining refrigerated conditions. Alternatively, the processed carcasses may be transferred to an alternative form of refrigerated transport after being initially chilled using chilling module 40, prior to separation from system 50.

[0206] In use, processing steps conducted using system 50 are physically separated by‘clean’ and‘dirty’ areas, as set forth in Figure 21. ‘Dirty area’ processing steps are conducted using stunning module 20 and slaughter module 30. ‘Clean area’ processing steps are conducted using dressing module 10 and chilling module 40.

[0207] In the dirty areas, safety and cleanliness conventions typically include the following. Water temperature is tested to ensure it meets sterilisation requirements. Potable water is tested to ensure it meets food safety standards. User personal protective equipment (PPE) must be scrubbed clean and/or changed before entering clean area. User hands must be scrubbed.

[0208] In the clean areas, in addition to those of the dirty areas, safety and cleanliness conventions typically further include the following. Bacteria and protein testing is conducted throughout the modules. PPE is formally checked for cleanliness and bacteria testing of PPE is conducted.

[0209] Certain advantages of at least some typical embodiments of mobile modules 10-40 and system 50 will now be described, by way of non-limiting example.

[0210] Mobile modules 10-40 and system 50 described are highly transportable, and towable using standard passenger vehicles. In particular, many standard car types, inclusive of sedans, station wagons, hatches, SUVs etc., as well as 4WDs and utes or pickup trucks, may be suitable for transport of mobile modules 10-40. Accordingly, specialised transport options for the mobile modules, such as towing using heavy vehicles, or attachment as a semi-trailer, are not required.

[0211] It will be appreciated that each of mobile modules 10, 20, 30, and 40 have length of 12.5 m or less, breadth of 2.5 m or less, and height of 4.3 m or less. This allows for the mobile modules to have standard road registration as a trailer in at least many jurisdictions. Furthermore, each of mobile modules 10, 20, 30, and 40 have weight of 3500 kg or less. This allows for towing using many standard vehicles, including 4WDs and utes. In some alternative embodiments, mobile modules according to aspects of the invention may have increased weight, such as 4500 kg or less. Some standard vehicles may have sufficient capacity to tow up to 4500 kg, and this is the maximum weight for light trailer (or similar) classification in some jurisdictions.

[0212] The highly transportable characteristics of mobile modules 10-40 and system 50 can offer considerable benefits and advantages in the context of the present invention, including in respect of ease of use and/or accessibility.

[0213] The arrangement of connection between processing doors and transfer rails of mobile modules 10-40 within system 50 can also be advantageous. In particular, connection of these doors and rails allows for efficient transfer of a carcass within the system, minimising the need for opening and/or closing of doors, or lifting of the carcass. By way of elaboration, when system 50 is arranged as depicted in Figures 14-16, a carcass can potentially be transferred directly along the respective connected transfer rails from slaughter module 30, to dressing module 10, to chilling module 40.

[0214] As hereinabove described, it can be desirable to set up system 50 on a substantially flat surface. It will be appreciated that this can facilitate connection of respective transfer rails of the respective mobile modules, and transfer of a carcass thereon, between the mobile modules. Where a substantially flat surface is not available, the inclusion of a transfer winches, such as transfer winches 220 of embodiments of mobile dressing module 10, may be advantageous to facilitate transfer on and/or off and/or between the respective transfer rails of system 50.

[0215] Another important advantage of at least certain embodiments of mobile modules as described herein, is that components within the housing of the mobile modules are adapted to maintain food safety standards, for example in accordance with Standard 3.2.3 (Food Premises and Equipment) of Chapter 3 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. For example, the arrangement of components within housing 100 of mobile dressing module 10 is adapted to allow for cleaning and sanitising. Materials typically used for construction of mobile modules as described herein, such as mobile dressing module 10, are also adapted to meet food safety standards. For example, interior surfaces of floor 110, walls 120, and roof 130 typically comprise plastic and/or stainless steel or similar, which are readily sanitised materials.

[0216] The inclusion of power isolators and/or kill switches in mobile modules as described herein, such as power isolator 1020 of mobile dressing unit 10, can have important advantages. In particular, this can allow for electrical components and/or equipment within the housing of the mobile module to be isolated from electrical power, for example to facilitate cleaning, or in the case of an emergency.

[0217] Another advantage of embodiments of mobile modules and systems as described herein is that individual modules are interchangeable. In this respect, it may be desirable to use mobile modules (including mobile stunning modules, mobile slaughter modules, mobile dressing modules, and/or mobile chilling modules) with different characteristics within a system for meat processing while set up at the same or similar location.

[0218] It may be desirable to bring multiple, differently adapted, stunning modules, slaughter modules, dressing modules, and/or chilling modules to a position wherein a system for meat processing is to be set up. For example, using the modules, a first configuration of a system can be set up, e.g. for processing of cattle, wherein the mobile stunning module is adapted for stunning of cattle. A further configuration of the system can then be set up, e.g. for processing of pigs, wherein the mobile stunning module is adapted for stunning of pigs.

[0219] Another advantage of the interchangeability of mobile modules and systems as described herein is that additional modules can be used to increase throughput and/or capacity. For example, it may be desirable to bring multiple chilling modules wherein a configuration of a system can be set up including the multiple chilling modules connected by applicable entry/exit processing doorways and/or transfer rails, to increase capacity of the system for cold storage of processed meat.

[0220] The highly transportable characteristics of mobile modules as described herein offers advantages relating to interchangeability. Multiple interchangeable modules can be efficiently transported to and/or stored at a location as required. Additionally, transfer or exchange of the highly transportable modules is relatively quick and easy.

[0221] The above description of embodiments of the invention is provided for purposes of description to one of ordinary skill in the related art. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the disclosed embodiments. In some instances, well-known components and/or processes have not been described in detail, so as not to obscure the embodiments described herein.

[0222] Numerous alternatives and variations to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art of the above teaching. Accordingly, while some alternative embodiments have been discussed specifically, other embodiments will be apparent or relatively easily developed by those of ordinary skill in the art. The invention is intended to embrace all alternatives, modifications, and variations of the present invention that have been discussed herein, and other embodiments that fall within the spirit and scope of the above described invention.

[0223] In this specification, the use of the terms“ suitable” and“suitably, and similar terms, is not to be read as implying that a feature or step is essential, although such features or steps may well be preferred.

[0224] In this specification the indefinite articles“a” and“an” are not to be read as singular indefinite articles or as otherwise excluding more than one or more than a single subject to which the indefinite article refers. For example,“a” rail includes one rail, one or more rails or a plurality of rails.

[0225] In this specification, the terms “comprises", “comprising", “includes", “including”, and similar terms are intended to mean a non-exclusive inclusion, such that an apparatus, system, or method that comprises or includes a list of elements does not have those elements solely, but may well have other elements not listed.

[0226] In this specification, the terms “consisting essentially of’ and “consists essentially of’ are intended to mean a non-exclusive inclusion only to the extent that, if additional elements are included beyond those elements recited, the additional elements do not materially alter basic and novel characteristics. That is, an apparatus, system, or method that“consists essentially of’ one or more recited elements includes those elements only, or those elements and any additional elements that do not materially alter the basic and novel characteristics of the apparatus, system, or method.

[0227] In this specification, terms such as“above" and“below”·,“front’ and“back’·, “top” and“bottom"·,“left and“right·,“horizontat and“vert/ cal”, and the like, may be used for descriptive purposes. However, it will be understood that embodiments can potentially be arranged in various orientations, and that such relative terms are not limiting and may be interchangeable in appropriate circumstances.

[0228] In this specification, unless the context requires otherwise, the terms “connection”,“connected’,“connecting”, and the like, are not to be read as limited to direct connections, and may also include indirect connections. For example, unless the context requires otherwise, a stated first component“connected’ to a stated second component may be connected via, through, or by, one or more unstated components.