Sue Wallis' Unified Equine announced yesterday that Rockville, Missouri
, population 150 or so, would be home to the company's first food-grade horse slaughter plant by the end of the summer. This is the second proposed Missouri location for the Wyoming state senator's plant. Mountain Grove was the first choice, but the company determined that converting the former gas pipe factory to a slaughter house would be cost prohibitive; and maybe the town's unified opposition to the plan
had something to do with Mountain Grove being passed over.
Rockville is a small town in Bates County, about 90 miles southeast of Kansas City. A cattle processing plant that's been closed for some time would be home to the new horse slaughter house. Unified Equine's plan for Mountain Grove included a partnership with Belgian company Chevideco, one of the biggest horse meat importers in the world. It's unclear yet if Chevideco is on board again for Rockville, but it is clear that Belgium is part of the European Union, which means that the proposed plant will need to have lifetime veterinary records for all horses processed starting next summer
If that makes Chevideco sound progressive and cuddly, you may want to take a look at this 2005 Forbes photo essay on Kaufman, Texas
. Kaufman was home to a Chevideco-owned "humane" horse slaughter plant, and it caused the city and its citizens much grief. Horse blood in the sewer systems and backing up into toilets, body part falling off trucks on the roads, the sounds and stench of midnight horse loads arriving, and untold numbers of vermin such as vultures, rats, snakes and cockroaches moved in. The plant was eventually shuttered, but only after property values dropped, many people moved and the city was forced to pay $6 million for a new waste water treatment plant.