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County Planning Commission attaches conditions to meat-processing CUP

A proposed custom-processing business on a goat farm in Hale Township got the approval of the McLeod County Planning Advisory Commission on Wednesday, Dec. 17 — but with a long list of conditions designed to address concerns of neighbors.
Mohamed Gaabane, an immigrant, approached the planning commission at its November meeting seeking a conditional use permit to allow him to custom butcher goats raised on his farm.
Gaabane is proposing a direct-to-customer business in which customers pick out their goats, and either have Gaabane butcher them, or take the goats home to butcher themselves.
Because the commission had questions about how the business would be regulated — it is licensed and permitted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture — the commission tabled the request until December, inviting staff from the Department of Agriculture to its meeting.
Also at the November meeting, neighbors had raised concerns about the existing goats not being adequately penned, the potential that a compost pile for the carcasses would attract coyotes and rodents, potential smell and an increase in traffic in the area.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Jennifer Stephes, meat inspection supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, explained that Gaabane’s business would be direct sales to customers, not to wholesalers or stores.
“It’s kind of like your old-fashioned meat shops where you brought in your cow to be slaughtered,” said Stephes. Customers can either bring in their own animal, or pick out one of Gaabane’s.

For more, see the Dec. 24 print edition of The Chronicle.