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UPDATED: Slaughterhouse mostly avoids ruffling feathers, but at least one violation reported

Chickens at the D.C. Poultry Market at 3225 Colvin Street. (staff photo by James Cullum)

Updated 4/28 — The City of Alexandria confirmed that, contrary to earlier comments from code enforcement, there was at least one complaint about the slaughterhouse. According to Alexandria communications officer Andrea Blackford:

Thank you for following up with us. There was a complaint about the Market in December 2021, which was followed up by a Zoning Inspector, who reported:

On Dec 6, 2021, a business owner placed a complaint on Alex 311 (21-00030162). The complainant provided photos of animal waste left on the street, and alleged that deliveries occur outside of designated hours and doors are left open.  The business was observed to be compliant with SUP conditions during my visit. I spoke with the manager and owner of the business regarding the complaints and issued a warning notice based off the photographic evidence of the animal waste on street.

(Earlier) For all of the fuss about the halal slaughterhouse at 3225 Colvin Street, the last ten months since its opening have reportedly been pretty quiet.

The poultry slaughterhouse garnered an intense backlash, including a lawsuit that was eventually dismissed. The slaughterhouse was approved in a 5-2 vote at the City Council in March 2019, but after a series of delays the slaughterhouse eventually opened last June.

According to Alexandria communications officer Andrea Blackford, the city’s code enforcement department hasn’t reported any complaints filed or violations investigated since that time.

Rebecca Gomez, director of operations at Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling just up the street (3471 Washington Blvd), said that it’s been all quiet on the poultry front since the slaughterhouse’s opening.

“We’ve had no problems at all,” Gomez said. “We were one business that was not against it as long as they followed the rules. It’s a local business. It was more the neighborhood that’s been up in arms. But we’ve been fine and barely noticed they’re there.”

Gomez said there’s been no noticeable loss in customers since the slaughterhouse opened. Some of the more vocal neighbors in opposition, like multiple nearby dog training services, couldn’t be reached for comment. On the Bring Integrity Back to Alexandria Facebook page, one user said in December 2021 they reported waste from the facility “including feathers, chicken entrails and other waste” spread across Colvin Street. The complaint was not reported by the City of Alexandria.

Abdul Mused, the owner of Saba Live Poultry, said that he hasn’t experienced any issues with neighbors since they opened.

“We invited all the neighbors to come to the store, and most of them that came liked what we did,” Mused said. “We had open arms and showed them [our facility], gave them tours and invited them in to see our operations.”

Since opening Mused said things have been going well as the slaughterhouse, and the facility has been busier than expected.

“They were scared of the unknown,” Mused said. “Now they know and see what we do and we haven’t had any complaints.”

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