A local abattoir would make it easier for farmers interested in raising animals for market. We should encourage such investment, but it is the entrepreneur best placed to make the decisions as to the mix of labor, equipment, and scale of the operations, e.g., seasonal or annual. The county needs to be careful not to arbitrarily place parameters on such a venture that pushes investors away. An example might be the notion that a slaughterhouse should have no more 10 employees. It is the investor who needs to determine scale, how many employees, storage capacity, etc. Those are business decisions - for the investor, not the county.
The regulatory framework regarding health/ecological concerns are important and appropriate. If current regulations are deficient -- fix them.
Should an abattoir be in the ag zone deserves debate. It would seem more likely a farmer would be predisposed to add a value-added facility on his property -- hence by extension in the ag zone.
The fear of large scale slaughterhouses is a red herring. Such facilities need 1,000s of animals a day. Large numbers of animals need large amounts of grain, which we do not have. Given hauling live animals is expensive (because of low tonnage per unit volume), animals are not going to be trucked here. Large scale slaughterhouses are located where the animals are - near large, dependable sources of grain.