Slaughter house opposition, still in force
Ellis County Human Services
ELLIS COUNTY – The commissioners court listened to presentations from Diana Rawlins, James Mays and Patsy Goss on the efforts of a community group self-designated as Citizens Against Slaughter House during their regular meeting Monday, July 26.
"We started meeting in February of this last year and we have been having regular meetings, at least once a month," said Rawlins.
"There are three actions we have taken – two motions to overturn the (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) executive director’s approval, and in order to protect our interest we filed in Travis County, Texas a plaintiff’s original petition in an abundance of caution because of time limitations."
The group specifically opposes the construction of a slaughterhouse located on Slama Road just over the county line in Navarro County, but Rawlins noted no lawsuit has been filed against the individual landowner.
Under the authority of Local Government Code 234.033, Ellis County Commissioners voted to deny location of the slaughterhouse at 855 Slama Road, finding that the operation would be incompatible with existing land use of the neighboring area.
The action came after extensive public testimony both for and against the proposal during a meeting of the commissioners’ court on November 23, 2009.
Property owner Shamsul Ahmed had told the court he wanted to establish a slaughterhouse that was USDA inspected in order to be able to sell his meats out of state.
He estimated he would slaughter 600 goats and lambs, combined, per week and about 20 to 25 head of young cattle and said he had chosen the 200-acre parcel, of which an estimated 70 acres is within Ellis County and 130 acres within Navarro County, as a location for his business because it is temperate, not within a flood zone, and close to Dallas where a market is available for the produce.
After Ellis County rejected Ahmed’s proposal, he reportedly obtained "permits by rule" from TCEQ to locate his business on the Navarro-County portion of his property.
"Thank you for turning down this slaughterhouse," said Goss.
"While it is being built in Navarro County, the impact will be on Ellis County – the smell, the air, the roads, the water supplies, the property values, the quality of our lives, our tax assessments, our health, and our children’s future."