Stop the slaughter in Boosbeck

Boosbeck villagers are up in arms about plans to re-open an abattoir that closed in 2007.
Almost 100 people together with MP Tom Blenkinsop, Borough Councillors Carole Jeffery and Dave Williams, plus local Parish Councillors Clive and Jean Maidens and Kath Jackson attended a public meeting in Boosbeck regarding plans to re-open the abattoir situated on the former station yard.
An application has been made to Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council on behalf of Mohammed Banaras, of Middlesbrough for a ‘lawful development certificate for a proposed use of abattoir site.’
The application goes on to say, Mr Banaras is proposing to purchase the property and it is a requirement to have confirmation of the current authorised use of the premises, which does not include the carrying out of building or other operations or change of use of land or buildings.
Under the current laws, the Council must automatically grant the certificate if the proposed use of the premises will not change.
Much to the displeasure of the local residents, the premises, which are close to local businesses, houses and the school, will be used as an halal slaughterhouse.
The residents spoke of the problems they experienced in the past when the abattoir, owned by R & A Norman was previously open.
One resident said: “The blood tanks were overflowing and only emptied once a week. This resulted in lots of rats in the village and they were coming up into our toilet systems.”
Another added: “We could hear the sounds of the animals screaming and this can cause mental and psychological problems, especially to our children.”
The other issue that was raised was regarding the impact of heavy traffic in the village and the safety of their children.
It was pointed out that both Whitby and Skinningrove abattoirs were closed in the past and moved out of town, away from residential areas and into purpose built facilities.
Debbie Healey, landlady of the Station Hotel in Boosbeck asked MP Tom Blenkinsop what the residents legally could do now to try and stop this application. Tom replied: “We must act swiftly as the decision date for this is November 4th. I will certainly be writing to the Planning Department about the mood of the room.”
Cllr Jeffery added: “There are environmental and health issues that we must look into and we must do this fast.”
Cllr Williams said: “I’m totally against these plans and I will do everything in my power to try and stop them and I will be contacting the Environmental Agency in respect of the new houses built in the area since the abattoir closed.”
The meeting agreed that residents would write letters of protest and sign petitions which will be taken round houses and left in shops in the village.
It was suggested all letters and petitions received may be handed in at Belmont House by the School Council pupils and must be written before Saturday 22 October. Letters and petitions can be left in shops and at the Station Hotel or the Miners Arms in Skelton Green.
The meeting was closed with residents saying they will fight this any way they can and one resident said: “We will block this by protests and do whatever is possible to get this stopped.”
Another meeting is to be called and the residents are to invite Mr Banaras along to it.
Halal killing is the prescribed method of slaughtering all animals as per Islamic law. It consists of using a well sharpened knife to make a swift, deep incision that cuts the front of the throat, and sometimes without stunning the animal first. This practice is illegal in the UK but is allowable itf it’s being done for religious reasons. The British Veterinary Association says this is cruel and have made calls for it to be banned particularly when they describe such acts as lambs being heard pitifully bleating and making gurgling sounds as they choke on their own blood.

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