Whitley Co. slaughterhouse proposal vote pushed back

A new business wants to build a slaughterhouse in Churubusco, but some think it's too close to residents and commercial businesses.

CHURUBUSCO, Ind. (WANE) – The Zoning Board voted to push back a vote on a proposal to allow construction of a slaughterhouse.

Stahlhut Yarde, LLC wants to establish Integrity Meats at 3640 and 3660 N. US 33, the site of a former lumber and hardware store.

Integrity Meats will be a retail meat market. What concerns the woman who lives next door is that the market will have a slaughterhouse in the back.

“I find it very disgusting and cruel,” she said. “The idea of having 15 animals a day slaughtered right practically on my property. And it’s like, ‘are they going to be living there?’ No, they’re not. So why should we be living right there practically inside?”

What worries her even more is that two of her children have a disorder called hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. It’s a condition that causes abnormal blood vessels.

“It’s going to cause major breathing problems,” she explained. “So if the smell is bad and in the air I’m afraid it’s going to intensify their breathing problems or cause other symptoms.”

Integrity Meats’ owner Roger Stahlhut said the slaughterhouse is too small scale to be industrial and all signs of animal slaughter will be hidden from the public. They will only allow a maximum of 15 live animals on site per day.

“It’s not like we’re running a lot of animals through there,” he said. “Everything is going to be inside, enclosed in the building.”

He wants people to focus on the positive reasons he’s creating Integrity Meats.

“What we’re trying to do is bring locally raised meat to Fort Wayne and surrounding areas,” he said. “We want everybody who buys meat there to be able to identify exactly what farm they come from, who raised it and how they were being raised.”

If the zoning board does allow Integrity Meats to slaughter and sell meat in the commercial zone, officials say there will be a lot of conditions for the business.

The Churubusco Board of Zoning Appeals pushed back the vote to July’s meeting.