A $35M investment in TBL?

A pig slaughterhouse in TBL is far from a done deal but it is raising a lot of questions. TBL is assessing a $35M project that would see the construction of a pig slaughterhouse at Mill and Fairmount Rd. in Bondville and create some 70 jobs. Municipal bylaws authorize such a construction. However since animal slaughtering is not considered an agricultural activity, it must be approved by the CPTAQ (Agricultural land protection Commission). The answer from the CPTAQ is not expected for a few months.

Then there are serious environmental considerations to be addressed such as water, waste disposal, as well as increased local traffic, noise and dust. The town confirmed that the facility would handle some 500,000 hogs a year, that is 200,000 more than was originally proposed according to Gilbert Arel, TBL’s Director- General.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) sets some basic criteria for slaughterhouses. It says water used in the process has to meet drinking water standards and “450 litres per pig are desirable.” A study on slaughterhouse wastewater from Ryerson University in Toronto in 2016 found: “Slaughterhouse effluents are considered detrimental worldwide due to their complex composition of fats, proteins, and fibers, as well as the presence of organics, nutrients, pathogenic and non-pathogenic micro-organisms, detergents and disinfectants used for cleaning activities, and pharmaceuticals for veterinary purposes.” Treatment and disposal of that wastewater is a matter of public health.

The promoter, who so far remains unknown, will have to produce and pay for elaborate technical data in order to comply with the various environmental and health requirements. The town will then examine them to decide if the project can go ahead. “This project would have an important economic impact in our town but it has to be studied very carefully” and, according to Arel, “if it is to take place it wouldn’t be before the end of 2018.”