Social effects of automation in slaughterhouses

9. september 2022

What are the social effects of introducing an autonomous robotic system for slaughter in Norwegian slaughterhouses? That was the topic of a stakeholder workshop held by NORSUS on August 24.

The goal of the workshop was to get input on the social effects of introducing a robotic system in Norwegian pig slaughterhouses from stakeholders who work in the meat sector or have knowledge of the meat sector. Researchers at NORSUS will use the data to model the social effects such a system might have on slaughterhouse employees and the wider community.

Dr. Clara Valente, senior researcher at NORSUS, is project manager for RoBUTCHER at NORSUS. She felt the workshop was a success. “The workshop exceeded our expectations. We had a great group of participants that actively engaged in the discussion and contributed with perspectives we had not thought to ask them”, she said.

The workshop had two components:

  1. An introduction to the project and a demonstration of the robot by researchers from Animalia and NMBU
  2. A focus group to hear what attending stakeholders thought the social effects would be from introducing an autonomous robotic system in Norwegian slaughterhouses.

The focus group was led by Dr. Rannvá Danielsen, research manager at NORSUS. Dr. Ellen-Marie Forsberg, director of NORSUS, is also part of the team working on this task in RoBUTCHER.

NORSUS will later this year or early next year hold a similar workshop in Germany to hear what German stakeholders think the social effects will be from introducing such a system in German slaughterhouses.

Workshop participants with the RoBUTCHER. Far left: Dr. Clara Valente, project manager for the RoButcher project at NORSUS. Front on her knee: Dr. Rannvá Danielsen, who led the focus group.