Local rabbit abattoir wins first big award

Mr Shawn Radovan with the award that the abattoir won recently. Behind him is the impressive gallery of certificates the business has earned so far.

Although few local residents know about it, the Coniglio Rabbit Abbatoir situated on the De Pan smallholdings about 11 km outside Carletonville, has put itself firmly on the national agriculture map.
The late Mr Eddie Dye originally developed the facility as a chicken abattoir. In 2015, however, Mr John Falck, the largest rabbit meat producer in the country, bought it and converted it. It now slaughters rabbits exclusively and is currently one of only two rabbit abattoirs in the country. The other is situated in the Western Cape.
Mr Shawn Radovan, a relative of the late Mr Dye manages the facility that currently employs 38 people.
On 25 May, Coniglio received an award for being the best low throughput abattoir in Gauteng. To achieve this, the abattoir had to excel consistently in various aspects like hygiene during regular inspections.
‘We can slaughter as many as 2 000 rabbits per day. About 65 rabbit farmers from the northern part of the country use this facility. We specialise in the New Zealand White rabbit breed, which can reach a weight of between 4,5 kg and 5 kg,’ Radovan told the Herald last Thursday.
This was the day that the SABC television crew was also set to visit the abattoir for an agricultural show on the national broadcaster.
Radovan added that although rabbit meat is not well-known in South Africa, it is very popular in the European Union and Asia and other African countries.
The meat is exported to Botswana and sold to various supermarket chains in South Africa.
According to nutritionists, rabbit meat contains a high percentage of easily digestible protein and has a low fat content. It is also almost cholesterol-free and the sodium content is lower than that of chicken, beef, lamb or pork.

Employees busy with the slaughter of rabbits, which is gaining popularity as a food source.

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