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Chicken slaughterhouse to locate near Alexandria's Duke Street

Posted on Mar 29,2019
Filed Under News , Community,

By Melissa Howell

In a request that officials called “unusual,” Alexandria City Council on Tuesday approved a special-use permit to open a chicken slaughter operation in the Northern Virginia city. The vote was 5-2.

The DC Live Poultry Market, a halal butcher shop, will be located at 3223 Colvin St.

The business would be located in an industrial area within walking distance of Alexandria Commons shopping center on Duke Street, soccer fields and Bishop Ireton High School — would slaughter about 200 chickens per day, selling directly to customers. The business projects around 500 chickens will be sold per day during holidays.

A list of conditions to ensure surrounding businesses wouldn’t be impacted by odor or waste also was discussed. Those conditions included doors being kept closed and odor control equipment being identified before the approval of building permits.

Ann Horowitz, an urban planner with the Alexandria Planning and Zoning Department, emphasized conditions requiring all live poultry be stored indoors to mitigate odor and all air pollution be controlled.

Shawn Smith with the city’s Land Use Services Department said the business would be subject to inspections, including one by the Division of Meat and Poultry.

“This division would conduct a minimum yearly inspection to validate sanitary conditions and the health of the poultry,” Smith said.

The chickens would need to test negative for typhoid and avian bird flu before entering Virginia.

Officials also required live poultry deliveries only happen overnight and during the early morning hours.

Councilman Canek Aguirre said he has received more than 200 emails in opposition to the slaughterhouse.

“I totally understand if you’re an animal-rights activist, I totally understand,” Aguirre said. “We also have to live within the realities of our society that we do consume meat and meat products.”

Since the business would sell directly to customers, it would be exempt from some of the regulations wholesale operations follow but would still have to follow certain guidelines.

“The applicant would be required to submit receipts, invoices and all documentation … to prove it’s selling directly to customers,” Smith said.

In response to health concerns Dr. Steve Haering, director of the Alexandria Health Department, shared his findings with the council.

“With the information provided by the applicant and with the regulations that are in place regarding the movement of poultry from out of state and the other regulations, we could identify — including the state public health veterinarian — could identify no public health concerns to residents or their pets.”

The impact on traffic also was discussed but, according to officials, it’s not likely to cause any serious problems for residents in the area. The business expects to get between 30 to 50 customers per day, with the majority of it’s business taking place on weekends.

Traffic on nearby Duke Street, though, is known to backup in the afternoons as people access the Telegraph Road exit to the Capital Beltway.

Source Wtop

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