Monday’s public hearing on the proposal to open a slaughterhouse in the Sackville Industrial Park yielded no information on the cost and financing of the project, the numbers of animals that would be killed there or the volume of truck traffic that would be required to transport animals to the site and to haul away their waste products.
Chris Pierce, the local farmer who wants to open the slaughterhouse at 72 Crescent Street, did not appear during the online public hearing.
Instead town council heard a presentation from Lori Bickford, planning manager/planner with the Southeast Regional Service Commission.
“They are proposing to process cattle, sheep and swine at the property, approximately 15 head of cattle a week to give a general idea of size,” Bickford said. However, she did not provide numbers on the slaughter of sheep and pigs.
“As well, wastes such as hides and bones would be removed daily to an approved location or a licensed composting or disposal site,” she added, “and any of the blood from the kill area would be going into an underground holding tank on site which would be transferred off at a later date.”
However, Bickford did not say whether the proponent has found an approved location or licensed composting or disposal site for these animal wastes.
She told council that the slaughterhouse would need licenses from the provincial departments of agriculture and health which regulate issues such as smell, waste disposal and food safety.
Bickford added that federal regulations governing the transfer of waste products from the site would also apply.
She said the Southeast Planning Review and Adjustment Committee is recommending that Sackville change its municipal plan and zoning bylaw to permit abattoirs in special intensive use zones within industrial areas.
Council heard only two objections to the proposed slaughterhouse, although Deputy Mayor Ron Aiken said he had received two e-mails opposing it that he would circulate to his colleagues.
Les and Faye Hicks wrote to express strong opposition based on “the poor working conditions and long term psychological damage to slaughterhouse workers that have been documented, as well as the potential health and environmental concerns related to the slaughterhouse industry”.
Jean-Pascal Lavoie expressed concerns about the municipality’s ability to enforce sanitary regulations.
“The proximity to residential areas remains within too close of a margin to reassure us,” he added.
Deputy Mayor Aiken said other members of the public who wish to comment on the proposal should get in touch with him, CAO Jamie Burke or Town Clerk Donna Beal.
For previous coverage that questions the economic viability of the project, click here.