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In 2019 Slaughter Free Chicago obtained court records from a FOIA request, indicating that the Illinois Department of Agriculture revoked the license of a slaughterhouse called Francisco Pollo Vivo for selling wholesale, in violation of the terms of its Type II license. In doing so, IDA set an important precedent which it has failed to apply consistently in other similar cases.
Beginning in 2020 and continuing today, SFC has investigated and reported on noncompliance issues at Type II Chicago slaughterhouses to IDA Director Costello’s office. The reporting includes emails with photographic and video evidence, urging investigations into these facilities. Most importantly, our research reveals that the Type II licensed facilities are routinely in violation of the most basic terms of the license: “No sales of meat and poultry products are permitted.” In fact, it is the buying and selling of thousands of animals that makes these businesses profitable. Furthermore, our analysis of IDA inspection reports reveals that Costello has failed to enforce this law, and refuses to even respond to numerous requests to investigate.
We are simply demanding that IDA consistently apply the same disciplinary action it took in the case of Francisco Pollo Vivo: Investigate and then revoke the license for those found violating the Type II license terms.
We also demand that Pritzker fire or ask for Director Costello’s resignation due to his complete failure to enforce the Type II license terms as well as his obstructionism and lack of transparency when dealing with members of the public and advocacy groups.
It may be that slaughterhouses have been allowed to do whatever they want for years with not much more than a slap on the wrist. But our community outreach work reveals that an overwhelming majority of people who are forced to live amid these slaughterhouses oppose them, find them an offensive nuisance, and are supportive of our efforts to close them down. We ask Pritzker to put community interests above these unsanitary and cruel killing factories by revoking their licenses based on non-compliance with Type II license terms.