Slaughterhouse returns six months after forced closure

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A west Harris County slaughterhouse accused of letting blood leak into a drainage ditch and improperly storing animal parts is back in business.

No more violating pollution laws - that's the final agreement between a local slaughterhouse, the Harris County attorney and the state of Texas.

This lawsuit stems from complaints dating back to 2012. People in the area say they not only saw blood running into ditches nearby, but there was also a terrible smell in the air.

"Everybody was complaining about it around here," nearby resident Larry Owens said.

Owens is just one of the many residents at an apartment complex across the street from Texas Farm Fresh Halal. He says the slaughterhouse was not conducting good business practices.

"That ditch, you can smell blood. There's always a stinking odor over there," he said.

Authorities were first tipped off on December 31, 2012.a Harris county pollution control services department investigator took photos. They found 500 gallons of blood in the roadside ditch and several pools of blood flowing from the site to a neighboring property.

"You have got to comply with pollution laws. You cannot have blood animal parts into waterways of Houston, and when you do, you will be prosecuted," he said.

And that's exactly what happened in 2014.

"They stayed shut down for a while," Owens said.

Fast forward to 2016, and the place is back in business. An agreement was reached with the county attorneys office and the owner. He must pay $20,000 in civil penalties to the county and the state, plus attorney fees and court costs.

"They should make them pay more," Owens said.

The owner must also abide by pollution laws. We tried to speak with the business owner Friday but were old he was out of the country.
Related Topics:
newslawsuitHoustonHarris County
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