Horse Slaughterhouse Divides Business Community

8 years 4 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, April 26 2012 Apr 26, 2012 Thursday, April 26, 2012 5:09:00 PM CDT April 26, 2012 in Your View
By: Jessica Smith
loading

MOUNTAIN GROVE - Sue Wallis, CEO of United Equine, told KOMU 8 she will set up a horse slaughterhouse in western Missouri. Wallis would not disclose where exactly the slaughterhouse will go, but she plans to have it up and running by the end of the summer.

The slaughterhouse will rival a New Mexico plant to become the first horse slaughterhouse in the United States since Congress made a decision to reinstate USDA funding for horse slaughterhouse inspections.

Slaughterhouse supporters think a horse meat processing plant is necessary to help improve the dismal horse market. Horse owners have few options when horses are too old or weak to work.

Euthenasia costs at least $75.00, and owners must still pay for burial costs. The low-value horses will only bring in $100-200 if the owner can find a domestic buyer, or ships the horse to Mexico or Canada for processing. Some owners just release the horses into the wild. A horse slaughterhouse would allow horse owners to turn a profit on horses that can no longer work or be trained.

"That same 1,100-1,200 pound horse would bring in a minimum of 600,700, 800, even 1000 dollars," said Wallis.

Wallis claims the plant will initially bring 40-50 jobs to the town, potentially building up to around 100 positions. Opponents of the plant worry no one will want to take those jobs.

"Who wants that job? I think what they'll do is try their hand at it and then get in there and leave," said TC Wagner, a horse rescue owner.

Wallis had considered setting up in Mountain Grove, Missouri, but faced strong opposition from much of the town. Wallis had promised the same 40-50 jobs to the town with a population of 4,800 and a 9.5 percent unemployment rate.

"They don't want to see horse slaughter, or think about it, or have loads of horses going up and down 60," said Wagner.

Russell Brown, a Mountain Grove horse trainer, said he thinks the slaughterhouse would benefit Mountain Grove and that people would take the jobs.

"Anytime you have employment that's going to help whatever economy. Yes, that's going to help it," said Brown.

Wallis ultimately decided Mountain Grove wasn't a good fit for the United Equine slaughterhouse, and moved onto western Missouri. Wallis describes the town as a rural environment with a high unemployment rate; the slaughterhouse will move an industrial park.

Many opponents are concerned about the impact a horse slaughterhouse would have on property values. To find out if there is any correlation between a slaughterhouse and property values, KOMU 8 looked at Dekalb, Illinois--where a horse slaughterhouse was open from 1987-2007.

First, KOMU 8 talked to a county assessor and compared sale prices of the surrounding buildings before and after the plant closed. There were no significant changes that can be directly correlated to the horse slaughterhouse. Several county appraisers said the plant had no impact on residential property values in Dekalb. Dekalb County's total value assessments increased steadily from 2005-2009, again, showing no change related to the slaugherhouse.

United Equine released a statement saying the slaughterhouse will have a positive effect on property values:

According to promotional material, "It is likely an increase in value because of lower community unemployment and more economic investment and opportunity for the the community at large."

Attorney Cynthia MacPherson is fighting a slaughterhouse in Missouri. MacPherson has written letters to Attorney General Chris Koster and Missouri lawmakers asking for help to stop the plant. MacPherson worries if Wallis has background and credentials for running a slaughterhouse, and doubts United Equine has the finances to sustain a slaughterhouse.

"In a plant, as proposed by Sue Wallis, would take a full time inspector. There's no money to pay them," said MacPherson.

Wallis said a combination of Missouri tax incentives, tax dollars and United Equine's accounts will get the company started. Wallis would not disclose any information about the company's finances or details about the Missouri tax breaks.

KOMU 8 has been unable to reach the Department of Economic Development to ask questions about the slaughterhouse tax incentives.

Watch the video for this story here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMBGosKxlKE&feature=youtu.be

More News

Grid
List
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The top health official in Kansas on Tuesday urged Kansans who joined large gatherings at Missouri's... More >>
8 minutes ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 6:49:56 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
MISSOURI - Missouri is moving into a new phase of COVID-19 reopening that will implement a new set of guidelines... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:44:55 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson will deliver his daily COVID-19 briefing live from the State Capitol in Jefferson City... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 2:01:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals upheld a ruling Tuesday that the city of Columbia acted... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 12:14:36 PM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
HOWARD COUNTY - A 30-year-old Armstrong, Mo. man is dead after a two person crash on Missouri State Highway 5... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 8:38:00 AM CDT May 26, 2020 in Top Stories
(CNN) - Despite dips in recent years in gun violence and the sanctioned stay-at-home orders, Chicago saw its deadliest Memorial... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:54:36 AM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, May 26 2020 May 26, 2020 Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:29:00 AM CDT May 26, 2020 in News
CHARITON COUNTY —A tornado briefly touched down in Chariton County just after 6 p.m., according to the National Weather Service... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 9:50:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
O’FALLON — Missouri’s health director issued a dire warning Monday after photos and video showed Memorial Day weekend revelers partying... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 8:39:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic sidelining all youth sports from play, one local coach decided to get some practice... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 5:57:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Boone County will move to the next step in reopening Tuesday. Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 5:17:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- When schools shut down because of the coronavirus , some parents of children with ADHD found themselves in... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 4:55:44 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
JEFFERSON CITY — U.S. states are spending billions of dollars buying protective medical supplies amid the coronavirus crisis,... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 4:50:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — The American Veterans Center has hosted the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. for 15 years. But... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 3:18:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The location of the annual Memorial Day ceremony may have changed, but the meaning of it stayed... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 3:09:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia staple, Ernie's Cafe & Steakhouse is finally able to open doors to customers after closing down for... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 2:20:00 PM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 25 2020 May 25, 2020 Monday, May 25, 2020 11:06:00 AM CDT May 25, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
7pm 72°
8pm 74°
9pm 71°
10pm 70°