Montana zoning ordinance prevents horse slaughter plant

Montana zoning ordinance prevents horse slaughter plant
Foaming effluent tank at Cavel during horse slaughter operation

In a statement presented to Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA), Mayor Kimberly A. Hammond announced an ordinance that prohibits the slaughter of more than 25 animals in a seven day period within the city limits. Montana Representative Ed Butcher's plan in Hardin, MT calls for a horse slaughter facility equipped to kill 200 to 400 horses a week and would have forced the city to construct a new waste water treatment plant. Hammond doubted the city would have been able to get the aid to fund a 6 to 8 million dollar treatment plant.

In February, 2009, Former Mayor Paula Bacon of Kaufman, Texas related her own experiences how the horse slaughter industry caused significant and long term hardships. Dallas Crown, one of the last three horse slaughter plants in the US caused problems since opening in the the late 1970's until their doors were finally closed in February, 2007. In her " Open Letter to State Legislatures Considering Pro-Horse Slaughter Resolutions," Bacon described the odor and waste water effluence violations, foul odors of decaying meat, vermin, carrion and the "leaking and uncovered" liquids spilling along city streets as the trucks left the facility.

Bacon continued with a description of the negative effects on the development of surrounding properties and the stigma it created toward the development of Kaufman.

All three horse slaughter facilities operating in the US were foreign owned, and on inspection of their books, it was learned the Dallas Crown slaughter house paid only $5. of taxes to the US on the gross income of $12,000,000. More than $5,000,000 a year was spent in Federal funding to support the three plants in the US.

Similar violations of waste water regulations, clogged sewer lines, and spilled and pumped blood into nearby creeks have been documented for Fort Worth's Beltex, another Texas slaughter house now closed.

In DeKalb, Illinois, Cavel Horse Slaughter plant burned down in 2002, and was rebuilt in 2004. They were fined every month from the time they reopened until closing in 2007 for consistently exceeding discharge guidelines with fines totaling $100,000.

Since closing in the US, Cavel has moved to Canada. Twyla Francois, of the prestigious Canadian Horse Defence Coalition presents a compelling short video of footage taken at Natural Valley Farms which shows evidence of illegal dumping of horse blood transported by tanker trucks and released onto grain fields which lead directly to the Qu'Appelle River in Saskatchewan.

The EWA provided the city manager and Mayor Hammond records of sanitary district violations of the Cavel slaughterhouse to help the city make information of past similar plans and results available to the public where it concerns safety, health and tax dollar expenses.

In a statement from Former Mayor Bacon, she states, " In terms of desirable economic development, horse slaughter ranks below a lead smelter plant as to the environment and a sexually oriented business that stigmatizes a community."

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