The Lion’s Pride
Kaufman High School

October, 2004  

Dallas Crown and city await test results
By Tracy Hagler, Managing Editor  

            Dallas Crown, Inc. has been operating as a horse slaughtering plant in the city of Kaufman for more than 20 years.  Recently, the city of Kaufman and the city council enforced the city’s wastewater ordinance.  The issue is over what Dallas Crown’s wastewater is doing to the city’s sewer system.  

            “Personally, yes, I do have a problem with horse slaughter and I do have a problem with the inhumanity of it all, and if  it was a necessity, even then, it would be inhumane,” Paula Bacon, Mayor of Kaufman, said.  “But that’s personal, and I can’t go with that.  What I do consider though is, as mayor, it’s my responsibility to look out for the city and taxpayers.”  

            In the state of Texas , it is illegal to slaughter horses for human consumption.  

            According to the Texas Agricultural Code, Chapter 149, Section 002, “A person commits an offense if: (1) the person sells, offers for sale, or exhibits for sale horsemeat as food for human consumption; or (2) the person possesses horsemeat with the intent to sell the horsemeat for human consumption.”  

            One might wonder, therefore, why Dallas Crown has operated for so long.  But, for Kaufman, the issue has more to do with the sewer system than it does with the legality of horse slaughter.  

            The city’s concern is that Dallas Crown is continually out of compliance with the city’s industrial wastewater ordinance, stated Director of Public Works, Richard Underwood in a letter to Dallas Crown.  

            This ordinance, Section 106-124, allows the city to issue a permit by approving authority if “The applicant’s pretreatment facilities are adequate for efficient treatment of discharged waste and  comply with the limits of this division.”  The city may also deny or suspend a permit if the applicant is “not qualified under section 106-124.”  Testing is done based on BOD levels, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, a measure of the amount of oxygen that bacteria will consume while decomposing organic matter under aerobic conditions.  Normal wastewater is 200 BOD but their permit allows Dallas Crown to exceed normal levels up to 2,000 mg. per day.  If the level is above that, the city fines Dallas Crown up to a maximum of $2,000 per day.  

            “It’s all about how you do the test, who does the test, and when it is done,” Jim Bradshaw, a Dallas Crown leader in coordinating a defense, said.  “We just want to be a good neighbor.”  

            According to obtained city records, from January 1, 2004 to July 1, 2004 , Dallas Crown has been cited 51 times.  In the letter from Underwood he wrote, this is putting the sewer system in “serious jeopardy.”

            Dallas Crown is located at 2000 West Fair Street , and is the first thing you see as you are coming in west to Kaufman.  

            “Often times the gates are open and you can see the hides piled up in the containers and you can see the offal,” said Bacon.  “And the smell is just awful.”  

            The “offal” is composed of fatty tissue, blood, bones, necks, heads, and other unused remains.  This is causing the sewer treatment plant to work extra hard to correct the polluted buildup.  

            “The Mayor of Kaufman has taken it upon herself to shut them down,” Bradshaw said.  “She has become one of the adamant opponents charging Dallas Crown with polluting the water and the sewer system.”  

            The citizens of Kaufman share the same sewer system, as do the businesses of Kaufman.  

            “The sewer system is the city’s responsibility, not ours,” Bradshaw said.  “They are supposed to provide us a sufficient sewer system as well as the city.”  

            The intentions of Dallas Crown are to slaughter only horses that are ill or injured, and just in poor health.  

            “It’s a simple answer to a necessary evil,” Bradshaw said.  The cost of disposing a horse is between $800-$1,200.”  

            The issue isn’t just about the slaughtering itself; it’s the overall effect it is having on the sewer.  

            “I don’t care if they’re slaughtering chickens or cows or what they’re slaughtering,” Bacon said.  “When it has that effect on the sewer it’s a problem.”  

            Dallas Crown is often criticized for the orientation of their business.  

            “I never object if well founded and justified, but normally it’s not,” Bradshaw said.  “Dallas Crown is a long time corporate citizen of Kaufman, what they do is good from an agricultural standpoint that creates jobs and an economic stimulus.”

             The city recently took action against Dallas Crown for their continual violations.  The city capped, and shut off their sewer system.  When that happened, Dallas Crown took legal action against the city of Kaufman .  The case went to court and the judge ruled to uphold the city’s ordinance.  The ruling also stated that Dallas Crown could still operate if it met compliance standards.  

            “Kaufman’s request for Temporary Injunctive Relief is granted to the extent that Dallas Crown may not emit Waste Water that contains levels higher than allowed by the City Ordinances, State or Federal Law,” as stated in Case No. 65977CC in the County Court at Law, Kaufman County, Texas.  

            “Additionally, the Court orders that Dallas Crown obtains, at its expense, additional testing pursuant to the following requirements…”  

            It further states that samples will be tested for a period of three weeks by three different labs.  Dallas Crown must remain in compliance for five consecutive days of operation during the three-week testing period.  The three weeks began on September 3rd, and we await final analyses and reports as to whether or not Dallas Crown is able to come into compliance.  

            If Dallas Crown is unable to meet requirements of their permit, as stated, the city’s Industrial Wastewater ordinance allows the city to suspend or deny renewal of their permit.