Demand for turkey isn't as great as it is for duck. | Archive

This year's Christmas menus will not include turkeys or ducks from Mallorca because there is no authorised slaughterhouse for them. In mid-November, the Inca farmers' cooperative took over the slaughterhouse in the municipality. It is the only one authorised to slaughter poultry, but the health ministry prohibited the slaughter of turkeys and ducks.

In Búger, Joan Siquier is one of the largest poultry breeders in Mallorca. A year ago, he stopped raising turkeys and ducks because authorised slaughter was impossible. He says that he used to sell 50 or 60 ducks and around 25 turkeys a week for the festive period. That was before problems arose with taking them to the slaughterhouse. He explains that some weeks it was possible; other weeks it wasn't. "There was total uncertainty. We reduced production and a year ago we stopped it completely."

His farm now only produces chickens and guinea fowl. "Turkey didn't affect us much because it wasn't in great demand, but duck was. We had many regular customers and distributors have been calling us this year because they are trying to get duck from abroad." But bird flu in France, one of the main export countries, has resulted in the slaughter of millions of birds.

Toni Seguí of the Inca cooperative is critical of obstacles that the health authorities have created. "They don't allow us to kill turkeys because the old concession didn't process things well. Although we are a poultry slaughterhouse, the only one on the island, the health ministry doesn't let us kill all kinds of birds." In general, around 300 chickens and fifty guinea fowl per week are slaughtered in Inca.

"The authorities go on about promoting zero kilometre and local products but then raise all the obstacles when processing permits. The former slaughterhouse concessionaire didn't do things well, but we don't get help from Inca town hall or the ministry of agriculture."