Investigators Trying to Determine If Meat Sold at Facility was Sold to, or Served in, Area Restaurants
By ANN SHERIDIAN / NewsChannel 36 – http://www.wcnc.com, October 18, 2011
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Undercover state agriculture agents are investigating an illegal slaughter house that they now believe also doubled as a cock fighting arena. Agents say they bought beef, chicken, even lamb from the street side corral on Dilling Farm Road in Charlotte.
Don Delozier from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture says the meat sold at the compound could have been contaminated or dangerous to eat, because it never made it to mandatory inspections.
“We saw a lot of people coming and going,” he said. “The average person off the street. Evidently they knew the place,” Delozier told NewsChannel 36
Consumers might have known it as a place to get inexpensive meat, but even inspectors were shocked when they raided the place.
“There were dead animals laying on the surface of the ground, rotting and decaying,” said Delozier.
Delozier’s agents called Charlotte Mecklenburg Police who further investigated. They found evidence of cock fighting. “The picture is a ring,” said Delozier. “The ring has a wall so they can’t jump out and a timer is there and Tylenol injections.” Those injections are allegedly used to keep the animals fighting longer.
Agriculture Agents are investigating whether any of the illegal meat sold made it to local restaurants or grocery stores. CMPD is investigating the cock fighting allegations, which carry criminal charges.
Agriculture agents will decide Wednesday if they will fine the owners of the corral. So far, there are no charges.
By TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36 Staff – http://www.wcnc.com, October 18, 2011
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Investigators are pouring through the business ledgers of an unlicensed animal slaughterhouse to see if any of the meat ended up in restaurants and grocery stores.
State agriculture investigators say chickens, hogs, goats, cows and sheep were available for picking, slaughtering and packaging at a compound on Dilling Farm Road in northwest Charlotte.
Investigators say the problem is none of the animals killed and sold for food were inspected to make sure they’re healthy.
There are no reports of anyone becoming ill from the meat.
The operators could face a fine of up to $5,000 per violation. Investigators say several violations are caught on tape from undercover buys.
When NewsChannel 36 tried to ask people on the compound about this, we were told to leave.
And, we were given the “bird.”
Speaking of birds, police found nearly 100 roosters they say were used for cockfighting at that same slaughterhouse compound.
“There was a ring, a makeshift ring that we found there. We did find a variety of different pharmaceuticals that are used. Vitamin B, different things like that, some sparring gloves,” said Mark Balestra with CMPD’s Animal Care and Control.
Balestra says the vitamin B was used for stamina and other drugs were used for healing wounds.
“They said that’s not the purpose of those birds. They just train them and used them because they really like raising roosters,” Balestra said. “With the evidence we found on the property, we don’t believe them.”
No one has been arrested. Police are still working this case and say cockfighting and animal cruelty charges are possible. Officials are working on a letter outlining what compound operators have to do to clean up and be compliant with meat inspection laws.