A PLAN to employ up to 1200 workers at Bindaree Beef is on hold.
In 2004 Bindaree Beef announced a major recruitment drive that would lead to 1200 new jobs at the Orange abattoir.
Two years on work at the Clergate Road plant is limited to a "value adding" operation.
"The work that has been going on for the last four years is continuing," company spokeswoman Leigh Belbeck told the Central Western Daily.
"We've just been low key until we get the place up and running.
"Nothing has changed we don't have a start date because of [low] cattle numbers."
The McDonald family, which owns Bindaree Beef, purchased the abattoir in 1992.
Bindaree Beef is one of Australia's largest meat processors and also own works in Inverell and Murgon.
Initially the Orange plant was used as a packing room but in 2002 the slaughter floor was opened.
However, it closed nine months later leaving 350 people out of work.
The plant, which first opened as the Graziers Meat Service in the 1920s, has a chequered history.
By the 1960s it was one of the largest meat works in NSW but it was soon dogged by stock shortages, industrial action and a volatile export market.
Rogers Meats, TA Field and Metro Meats have owned it.