Battle brews over proposed Islip slaughterhouse
A plan to open a poultry slaughterhouse in Islip is drawing concerns from the community.
The proposal would put the slaughterhouse on Beaverdam Road off of Route 111 on a property that currently sits vacant. To become a poultry slaughterhouse, the owner would need a "special exception" granted by the Town of Islip Zoning Board of Appeals.
Residents are expressing concerns about odors and environmental impacts.
"These animals are often living in their own feces, so there's concerns with pathogens," says John Di Leonardo, of LI Orchestrating for Nature. "There's high ammonia levels that will be seeping into the water from the blood and the feces."
A man named Joseph Rosario, of Huntington, submitted the application to open the slaughterhouse. In a letter to the zoning board, Rosario's attorney addressed community concerns by saying, "All waste is self-contained in special, refrigerated, walk-in boxes and regularly removed professionally..." It goes on to say, "There will be no odors, smoke or soot, as there will be no cooking on the premises."
But so far, nearly 400 people have joined a Facebook group called "Islip Residents Against Slaughter House." Carleen Newlands started the group just a few days ago.
"Basically the community is very, very outraged by this," she says. "Where does the town get a benefit? What is the benefit to it? It's only a possible negative impact on our area, on our residential area."
The Islip town supervisor and several Town Council members declined to comment on whether they support the slaughterhouse. But the decision is up to the independent Zoning Board of Appeals.
The board has a public meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m., and the issue of the slaughterhouse is on the agenda.