Iowa To Be Affected By Largest Slaughterhouse Ever

Iowa To Be Affected By Largest Slaughterhouse Ever

by Molly Regan

“…the tip of the environmental disaster iceberg”
Several miles from where the John Deere Classic golf tournament is held in Rock Island county Illinois, is the proposed location of a hog slaughterhouse.  This slaughterhouse is slated to kill 16,000 pigs a day. 
The result would bring nearly 250 semis a day from all around western Illinois and across the seven bridges that span the Mississippi River from Clinton to Davenport, IOWA.  Hog waste, flies, mosquitoes, noise and light pollution, air filled with hydrogen sulfide and ammonia are just the tip of the environmental-disaster iceberg.

At the proposed site are four wetlands according to an employee at the Army Corps of Engineers. These wetlands act like a sponge. They help keep the Rock River from flooding worse than it already does, and at times, that can be quite extensive.  Just ask someone who lives in Barstow or along Barstow Road. With these wetlands filled in, the flooding will increase. The Rock River flooded in February of 2009 after an early thaw and then iced over again.
Nearby, in IOWA, the rural country side will be riddled with an explosion of CAFO's small to huge to feed the appetite of those in Japan. It was reported several years ago by Triumph Foods that this proposed slaughterhouse would supply over 20% of its product to the Japanese. So, Iowa and Illinois are supposed to become the sewer for Japan so that Triumph can bring them meat that they don't raise. We are already the sewer for ourselves, the Mississippi, and for the Gulf of Mexico.
Infrastructure from bridges, interstates, primary and secondary roads including gravel roads, will need more maintenance…Who will pay for that? Not Triumph. You and I.
The last Friday in September 2006 on Highway 67 just north of LeClaire, IOWA a truck filled with animal parts and waste had an accident & spilled its load.  Le Claire firefighters had to wash it off the highway. They washed it into a ditch about 100' feet from the Mississippi River.  Guess where some of that ended up eventually?
On a late November day in 2004 when there were 30-40 mile an hour winds from the north, I could smell the stench of pig waste in Moline and knew the closest confinement was over five miles away, but still close enough for its smell to move miles.
It travels and it will travel to you.  To your home, to the inside of your vehicle with your children as you travel across Scott county in Iowa or Rock Island county in Illinois.  It will find you outside at a fair or a friend's graduation. Often one of the local bridges is backed up or closed for construction or an accident.
Hope you are not stuck on a bridge with one of these semis, loaded or unloaded. It will be too late then to speak out regarding this monstrosity when your nose and lungs are burning.
The John Deere Classic will go away. Every event in the Quad City area will be affected. Do you think over 10,000 runners will still want to navigate Brady Street Hill in Davenport for the Bix Beiderbecke Run while trying to catch their breath from pig fumes? It's a matter of physics & chemistry.
If this is built, they will go away.
We rest in a lowered elevation here along the beautiful Mississippi River Valley region. Our air will fill in with stench. You will have to keep your windows shut more often. The waste will be along our roads and the asthma causing toxins will fill the air.
This slaughterhouse will NOT cause economic development, it will cause people to move away.
One of the businesses that follows slaughterhouses is a semi wash.  There was one built in a small IOWA town. It was so overused, it caused animal waste to come up into residents' washing machines and toilets.
This past year in a different state, waste from a livestock semi ended up on a highway, and children were injured when their school bus slid thru the  * # * %
The hydrogen sulfide and ammonia and other toxins given off when hog waste accumulates in pits beneath the confinements, are extremely harmful to those who breath them in.  According to Dr. Kaye Kimball in his book “Chemical Brain Injury,” he (yes, he's a he) says hydrogen sulfide and ammonia from animal waste cause disorientation, memory loss and death.
Please contact your elected officials. Triumph foods wants their loan for this awful project to be backed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in case they default. If this backing is approved by the USDA, and if Triumph goes under or defaults, who will pay for it?…You and I, the taxpayers.
Certain business people want government regulators off their back, but the next day, they have an open, outstretched palm for a government subsidy or guarantee. Regulations should trump all.
This type of business and the CAFOs that follow, are not sustainable.  They do not support the small independent family farmers.
When Triumph built its slaughterhouse in St. Joseph, Missouri, many were brought in from outside the area to build it.  These are just several reasons why other citizens protested loudly when Triumph came to their town to try to build.  Triumph was told … NO!.
Read David Kirby's new book “Animal Factory” as he traces the true stories of how hog confinements robbed people of their livelihood and health.  “Empire Of The Pigs” by Donald Bartlett & James Steele has excellent informational background on these confinements and their effects on people.  Bartlet & Steele's articles appeared in Time magazine in 1998.
These award winning writers will tell you what happens when a slaughterhouse moves near or into a community.
This is our community.  This is our playground. 

Tell Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, NO to a
loan guarantee for Triumph.  Call Vilsack's DC office at the USDA


Tell your elected officials to say NO!


And, tell Triumph…NO!

Regan, activist extraordinaire, environmental facilitator, elected
official, and member of Progressive Action for
the Common Good
in the Quad Cities. Don't forget to CPR…Conserve/Participate/Recycle

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