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State Ag Officials Say Controversial Meat Rendering Facility Not Legally Licensed, Violating Several Laws

State officials say A & S Proteins, which operates a controversial meat rendering facility just north of Russell Springs, is not legally licensed and is in violation of several state laws governing the operations of such facilities.

WJRS NEWS has obtained a copy of a letter being sent from the legal office of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to Mark Antle, the registered owner of A & S Livestock, Inc., the parent company of A & S Proteins in Russell Springs.

According to the letter, in response to a number of complaints to the KDA, State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Stout and Ag Inspector Supervisor Bart Branstetter found several violations of state law during a recent visit to the local meat rendering facility.
The alleged violations include:

  • wet & dirty floors with a lack of adequate drainage
  • an odor in the building so strong that it resulted in a gag reflex by Dr. Stout and Inspector Branstetter, thus finding the building in general was not in a reasonable sanitary condition
  • the unloading facility was still under construction and the “scrubber” equipment was not yet operational, therefore the facility was not “adapted to carry on the business” of dead animal collection
  • Dr. Stout and Inspector Branstetter found that the dead animal carcasses and offal were dumped into a pile outside the plant rather than being delivered “to the plant” and Inspector Branstetter reports witnessing offal in a pit outside the plant which has been noted on multiple inspection reports. State law mandates that the bodies of dead animals be delivered “to the plant and such facilities are required to have concrete “loading platforms”
  • Dr. Stout, Inspector Branstetter, and numerous local residents report that the steam from the facility creates an “unnecessary nuisance” in violation of KRS 263.090.

Additionally, the letter from the Department of Agriculture says A & S began operating prior to the issuance of a state license….which means the facility never met the statutory requirements, thus the license was improperly issued.

In closing, Ag Department attorney Luke Morgan said “this letter is formal notification that A & S is not a legally licensed business under KRS 263 and if the business continues to operate, the state department of agriculture will be forced to impose a monetary fine according to law.”

WJRS NEWS also confirmed County Attorney Kevin Shearer was in contact with state ag officials, including Commissioner James Comer, on several occasions Tuesday in response to complaints from more than 20 citizens that attended Monday night’s Russell County Fiscal Court meeting to complain about what some referred to as an “atrocious odor” coming from the meat rendering almost daily as well mounds of decomposing animal carcasses.

WJRS NEWS will continue to follow, and report, on developments to this ongoing story as they occur.

 

 

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