Halal neighbours: City politicians weak on law enforcement

Halal neighbours: City politicians weak on law enforcement

A slaughterhouse in southwest London has not yet obeyed city demands it clean up its business as it continues to operate, frustrated neighbours charged Tuesday.

Longwoods Road residents have been fighting a halal abattoir in their community for more than a year, losing an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board and seeing the slaughterhouse approved by city council.

But the rezoning that was approved by the city and provincial review body also comes with requirements that London Quality Halal Meats on Longwoods Road comply with a host of standards for health and safety, cleanliness, and food preparation – and it has not done so, neighbours said.

Although the city agreed to rezone the site for the abattoir, the owner, Mike Abualhayja, has to comply with “withholding provisions” before being allowed to operate his business.

Those provisions are numerous, dealing with food handling and safety, cleanliness and one of them demanding a “nutrient management system.” Neighbours last year complained the smell and flies from the slaughterhousse kept them inside. Millar Berry Farm and a nearby restaurant were concerned about its impact on their businesses.

“There are now animals on site. I hear animals, they have them in the barn. They are breaking the bylaw that does not allow animals on site,” said Rick Burt, a neighbour.

He contacted city officials in planning and bylaw enforcement, and nothing has been done, he said.

“They are thumbing their nose at council. It’s three years later and they are doing the same thing.”