Court blocks Alabama city from approving processing plant

June 8, 2021 GMT

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — A judge has blocked the city of Gadsden from approving the construction of a plant where scores of truckloads of dead chickens would be delivered daily for a processing operation that opponents say would be a smelly, dangerous nuisance.

Etowah County Circuit Judge George Day sided with critics of the plant on Monday and issued an injunction to stop the development project by Colorado-based Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. near the city airport, The Gadsden Times reported.

A trial scheduled for July would decide whether the ban remains in place or work can move ahead on the rendering plant, which has been the subject of vocal community opposition since the plans became public last year.

Located near homes, schools and at least one church, the plant would receive 120 truckloads of dead chickens and chicken parts around the clock each day for processing into animal feed, the judge wrote. Aside from traffic and the potential foul smell, the operation could pose a hazard to airport operations, critics contend.

Day wrote that he was aware of the need to bring new jobs into the northeast Alabama community following the shutdown of a Goodyear tire plant, but the economic interest has to be balanced against the rights of people in the area.