Orkney’s only abattoir is to close after the island’s council pulled out of an arrangement with local butchers to fund it.
Orkney Island Council said it had spent about £1m on the facility since 2012 in an effort to keep it open.
They blamed maintenance costs as well as the availability of technical staff.
The abattoir at Hatston had been processing about 50 animals a month. They will now be shipped 150 miles south to Dingwall for slaughter.
A group of local butchers, known as Orkney Meat Processors Ltd (OMPL), had operated the abattoir and carried out slaughter of cattle, sheep and pigs about three times a month.
In December the council launched a £50k “challenge fund” to encourage local businesses to come up with a way of providing more “sustainable” abattoir services on the island.
Gavin Barr, director of development and infrastructure services, said: “We have taken this decision based on a number of factors, primarily that key resources like technical staff time are simply no longer available to us.
“We’ve worked hard with OMPL and spent a great deal of money over the last five years to keep the facility running, but this cannot continue in the long-term, with substantial further investment needed to bring the facility up to the standard that we feel is necessary to continue to provide this service.”