Maun branch of Botswana Meat Commission started “trial killings” of cattle on Friday morning, the BMC operations manager, Thabane Machacha, has revealed.
Machacha said they started the operations by slaughtering four cows. They plan to increase the number as days go by.
With this low number of killings, he said that they intend to see if the machinery is working as expected as well as to train their newly-hired Maun staff.
When in full operation, he said that the abbatoir will have a staff compliment of 100 employees.
It is expected that the abattoir will be at full operation during the first week of October, if everything goes according to schedule.
At full production, the expectation is to slaughter 100 cattle per day.
The re-opening of the Maun abattoir has been delayed by a wide range of factors, including the refurbishment of the plant and machinery failures, which came as a huge disappointment.
The former Chief executive of BMC, Dr Motshodi Raborokgwe, had once said that the delay in opening the abattoir was caused by the strike in South Africa by drivers who were members of Unions because machinery which they had ordered had failed to arrive in Maun on scheduled.
Several farmers in Ngamiland said that they will just wait and see if, indeed, the abattoir will open because they have been told such stories in the past only for the opening to be postponed.
”If you remember well, it was first supposed to be opened in April and that never happened and after there had been several postponements I gave up,” said one farmer.