Montana Representative Ed Butcher's plan of building a horse slaughter plant in Hardin, MT has ended. The city of Hardin unanimously passed Ordinance No. 2010-01 that amends the current zoning ordinance to prohibit the slaughter of more than 25 animals in a seven day period.
The action effectively bars the building of a slaughter plant in Hardin.
Mayor Kimberly A. Hammond provided the following statement to Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA).
"I have no deluded thoughts or feelings about the need for proper disposal or care of unwanted horses.
As Mayor of a small city, it is my responsibility to make information available to our public, especially when it concerns public safety, health, and how their tax dollars are being spent.
The way our City Industrial Park is set up, a business is required to hook up to City Water and Sewer. A horse slaughter facility running at 200-400 kills a week would have brought our waste water treatment plant to a screaming halt.
Our City would have been forced to construct a new waste water treatment plant that would capacitate the slaughter facility, at the cost of our tax payers. The City most likely would not have been able to get aid with funding a 6-8 million dollar treatment plant.
I, as Mayor had our City Attorney draft an ordinance that prohibited slaughter houses within the city limits. Upon 1st reading, our city council did not like the verbiage that there would be NO slaughter facilities. They thought it was unfair to the small mom and pop operations that could be looking for a commercial plot. So we changed the language to only prohibit facilities that would kill more than twenty-five animals in a 7 day period.
Our decision was based purely on the adverse impact that a facility of this size and nature would have had on our City Waste Water Treatment Plant."
Mayor Hammond's concerns were well placed. Horse slaughter plants are notorious for their waste problems. Horses have almost twice as much blood per pound of body weight as cattle and it has proven very difficult to treat. In the three years Cavel International operated in DeKalb, Illinois, their discharge was in violation every month. The operation moved to Saskatchewan, Canada where it was caught discharging blood into the local river from a tanker truck. That operation was shut down last year because of health violations.
EWA applauds the city of Hardin, Montana for this proactive legislation to preserve the environment of their beautiful city.
The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues free, umbrella organization with over 100 member organizations. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids.