Amalgamated Dairies Limited will be closing its abattoir in Summerside in late October, saying the plant has seen a dramatic reduction in business over the last few years.
In 2004 the abattoir would have seen more than 1,000 animals, usually cows and pigs, at the facility. That number declined steadily to just 400 animals so far this year.
ADL purchased the plant in 1993 from Farm Enterprises Inc. due to its close proximity to other ADL businesses.
ADL management said the decision was discussed at ADL's board meetings and should be no surprise to clients.
Randald MacFarlane, a hog farmer and a client of the abattoir, said he got a notice in the mail about the closure.
"They've been break-even for a number of years, now it's gotten to the point where we've lost so many of our farmers that there's no custom business and they have to close," he said.
Custom killing is when a farmer has a few animals killed for their own use. A farmer would take their animals to the abattoir, have them killed, and then pick up the meat and sell it at the farmers market, rather than selling the animal to a meat plant.
MacFarlane said he's not sure where he'll take his animals now.
The next nearest abattoir is in Winsloe, near Charlottetown, nearly one hour's drive away.
MacFarlane said he sells a couple of custom killed pigs at the Summerside farmers market per week.
He said trucking them off to the next nearest abattoir is just not profitable.
The last day that the plant is accepting the animals is Oct. 12, the abattoir shuts down on Oct. 26.