Suffolk seeks bids to refurbish, operate dormant slaughterhouse

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YAPHANK -

Suffolk County is seeking bids from private companies to refurbish and operate a dormant slaughterhouse on the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank. 

Currently, there is no USDA-approved slaughterhouse on Long Island. Animals raised on Long Island have to be trucked upstate or out of state to be processed. Farmers say it's expensive and time-consuming. 

"There's a lot of coordination getting the animals up there, getting them on the ferry, then bringing the meat back," says Katie Green, of McCall Wines. "If there was something closer, it would be a lot easier."

With the high cost of land, taxes and labor, it's getting harder for Long Island farmers to stay in business. Supporters of reviving the 100-year-old facility in Yaphank believe it could help with the bigger goal of preserving farmland on the East End. They say it should encourage new farmers to raise animals and help existing ones expand.

"Right now, there's a big demand for locally produced meat because it's high-quality, it's excellent-tasting," says Legislator Al Krupski (D-Southold). 

The county is accepting bids for the project until Sept. 15.

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