July 17, 2017 9:29 am
Updated: July 17, 2017 10:59 am

City committee to review rezoning application for halal abattoir in southwest London

City Hall at 300 Dufferin Ave. in London, Ont.

Travis Dolynny / AM980

Despite concerns from neighbours, city staff are recommending council approve adding a proposed abattoir to a farm in southwest London.

Members of the planning and environment committee will discuss the rezoning application for the property at 8076 Longwoods Rd. Monday afternoon.

READ MORE: Halal slaughterhouse rezoning request sent back to London city staff

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The owner of the two-hectare farm wants to open a livestock facility and halal abattoir that would slaughter goats, sheep and lambs housed on site.

“This is an issue that is very important to the community,” said Coun. Anna Hopkins, who represents the ward.

“They have had to deal with concerns of odour and flies for the past couple of years and having had very little recourse because the applicant is going through this rezoning.”

Hopkins supports the proposal but insisted proper regulations must be in place to address the concerns of neighbours.

“When I look at the community’s concerns and I heard the community’s concerns, I don’t know if I’d be that thrilled having an abattoir built right next to my property,” said Hopkins.

“They’re real and they have to be acknowledged.”

Those concerns were expressed by over two dozen residents who attended a community meeting on the proposal late last month and opposition continues to pour in.

“As I walked outside… BOOM! Like smacking into a brick wall, my senses were assaulted by that distinctive barn stench,” said Matt Millar, owner of Millar Berry Farms, in an email to AM980.

“So now, where I should be smelling the sweet aroma of strawberries, I’m smelling nothing but filth.”

READ MORE: Planning committee endorses 2 big developments, sends back halal slaughterhouse

The Millar family’s berry farm is about one kilometre east of the property in question. They have also raised issues around dead animals they have seen left on the property, along with concerns about contaminated groundwater as many homes in the area use wells.

Under current zoning regulations, livestock are not permitted on the property. The owner was charged by city by-law last year for having livestock, and is due in court next month.

City staff have suggested the abattoir and livestock facility are appropriate land uses within the agricultural designation and existing bylaws will ensure it’s appropriately maintained.

The planning and environment committee starts at 4 p.m. at London City Hall.

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