From MARK SCARAMELLA
On Tuesday, May 18, the Board of Supervisors spent an afternoon discussing the possibility of a slaughterhouse somewhere along Highway 101. 101 is something of a slaughterhouse itself, especially near Hopland to the south and between Willits and Laytonville to the north. The interstate suddenly goes from four lanes to two. Motorists slow to react are often killed.
The slaughterhouse under discussion, however, would render four-footed animals into steaks and chops.
Several sons of the soil, fresh off their back 40s, appeared before the Supervisors to talk up a tax-subsidized facility.
The slaughterhouse idea has been floating around for several years now, never getting very far because, of course, nobody’s willing to put up millions of dollars for, ahem, a pig in a poke.
Ranchers, miscellaneous Friends of Ranchers, and some local food advocates spoke for the idea; none of them offered to front the money. They seemed to think the Supervisors would somehow fund it, or fund the planning of it.
A rancher named John Ford, unlike his fellow ranchers, seemed much more reality-based. Ford rattled off some likely numbers and told the Board, “I can’t see where this is economically viable.”
Several enviros and a vegetarian told the Board that there were various problems with the idea — the smell, the waste, the humane treatment, the idea itself…
One Ukiah resident was for it as long as it wasn’t in his neighborhood…
Counting herself among the Friends of Ranchers, Fifth District Supervisor Candidate Wendy Roberts said she’d spoken to “Sea Ranchers and large cattle ranchers
Peter Bradford, Larry Mailliard, Larry Stornetta… They tell me it would make a tremendous benefit to them. No more hauling of animals out of county.” Roberts then added the facility should not be in the Ukiah area. “Our support is conditional on that,” said Roberts.