Story: Meat and wool

Slaughtering in early freezing works (1st of 2)

Slaughtering in early freezing works

Until the early 1930s, all the slaughtering at a freezing works was done by solo butchers. Each man would kill four or five sheep at a time, then skin and dress the carcasses one by one. A skilled butcher could easily kill and dress over 100 sheep in a day. This photograph from around 1926 shows how unhygienic the system was, as the meat could easily be contaminated by the skins and waste.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Steffano Webb Collection (PAColl-3061)
Reference: 1/1-019459; G
Photograph by Steffano Francis Webb

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Alistair Nicol and Caroline Saunders, 'Meat and wool - Meat products, animal welfare and consumer protection', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/19209/slaughtering-in-early-freezing-works (accessed 1 June 2020)

Story by Alistair Nicol and Caroline Saunders, published 24 Nov 2008