News

New Hempstead Community Protests Planned Kosher Slaughterhouse In New Square

NEW SQUARE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Hudson Valley Hasidic community is speaking out about a planned kosher chicken slaughterhouse in their community.

The planned 5,000 chicken-a-day kosher slaughterhouse in New Square, N.Y. is moving closer to approval nearly five years after its predecessor was closed down by federal inspectors, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.

The neighbors living next door in New Hempstead are not pleased.

A protest held on Sunday elicited a response from the Hasidic community and the developer, promising things have changed.

“The old one was a mess and nobody denies that, but as you have seen, five years later and we still haven’t put up a new one,” said Yossi Gestener, with the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council. “People want to do things the right way, the good way, the correct way.”

“There will be almost no noise coming out of the building and no odors. (No odors?) No odors. (Slaughterhouses usually smell?) Slaughterhouses usually smell if they’re not kept up,” said the developer’s attorney Ira Emanuel.

The plans and the artist’s rendering for what they’re calling “Heritage Park” show a clean, state-of-the-art facility with concrete cast walls, cowled vehicle loading docks, noise and odor suppression, but it will be run by the same owners who were forced to close shop in 2010, Young reported.

“They’re going to tell you exactly what you want to hear. (But you don’t believe it?) No, not for a second. Not at all. The track record speaks for itself,” said Larry Strack, who opposes the slaughterhouse.

The neighbors in New Hempstead across Route 45 know that there are a couple of public hearings scheduled before the slaughterhouse can be built, but they know the process is under the control of the Village of New Square and they fear it’s a done deal, Young reported.

While the previous plant was closed because the owners refused to allow federal inspectors inside, the new plant said it will have two inspectors on site.

Opponents are also trying to get the Empire State Development Fund to rescind a $1.6 million grant for the project, which is expected to open 100 jobs in the area.

Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com: