Residents raise stink over slaughterhouse

Vivero Macca Live Poultry employees working on the morning of Wednesday, January 27.
Community News Group / Robert Wirsing

Community leaders are investigating a local slaughterhouse following new allegations.

Located at 603-605 Morris Park Avenue, Vivero Macca Live Poultry, a live market located in Van Nest, has raised concerns among some members of the community.

Robert Gerola, who lives next door to the market, alleges slaughterhouse workers can be seen every morning washing chicken cages on the curb, allowing blood, hay, feces and feathers to be washed into the street’s sewers; installed two exhaust fans on the live market’s roof which sends out a foul odor; has exposed propane tanks sitting on its roof and vehicles double parked in front of the store all day.

A Wednesday, January 27 visit to Vivero Macca Live Poultry workers were observed unloading pallets from a truck and hosing the sidewalk clean.

Omar Thabat, the owner, stated his workers rinse out the poultry cages inside the market before they are taken outside.

Thabat insists that he and his workers labor seven days a week to keep their live market clean and haven’t failed an inspection since 2014.

He added his establishment is inspected every three months by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets as well as the United States Department of Agriculture and has passed every inspection since then.

“We’re a live market offering organic food and a lot of the Muslim, African and Caribbean communities here in the neighborhood want this store,” he said.

Vivero Macca Live Poultry provides the Bronx with fresh chicken, lamb and goat, he explained.

“Last year, my office was contacted by community members concerned about an odor emanating from the Vivero Macca Live Poultry in Morris Park Avenue,” said Senator Gustavo Rivera. “After making our inquires to the state and federal agencies that directly oversee and regulate this type of business, we were informed that the allegations against Vivero Macca were unfounded.”

“Recently, we have been contacted with a series of new allegations against the slaughterhouse and we are working diligently to try to find a fair resolution for both the community and the small business,” the senator added.

Jeremy Warneke, Community Board 11 district manager said he and members of Rivera’s office will meet with Vivero Macca Live Poultry on Friday, January 29 to discuss these allegations.

Gerola provided photographs to CB 11 of exposed propane tanks located on top of the market’s roof.

According to Warneke, CB 11 contacted the FDNY about the propane tanks and was informed that these tanks should be stored inside a rooftop cage pictured next to them in Gerola’s photograph.

Should the tanks not be properly stored, a violation can be issued, Warneke said.

“In my opinion, having a slaughterhouse on the main business corridor where thousands of people pass each day, going to and from the East 180th train station is disturbing to me personally,” said Bernadette Ferrara, Van Nest Neighborhood Association president.

“As a long time resident of Van Nest, my statement comes from wanting to raise the bar on quality of life issues. The concept of a slaughterhouse just doesn’t fit in to a residential neighborhood.”

Ferrara said she worked with CB 11’s John Fratta on possibly relocating the slaughterhouse to an industrial area, but it never panned out.

Propane tanks were seen sitting on top of Vivero Macca Live Poultry’s roof.
Photo courtesy of Robert Gerola

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