A memo from City Planner Clint Spencer to City Manager Ed Brookshier says land for a proposed horse slaughter plant near Hermiston has been purchased by a California company.
The memo, which was distributed to the Hermiston City Council on Monday, said the site was purchased this spring for $600,000 by Liberated L&E LLC, a company based in Palmdale, Calif.
Plans for the proposed horse slaughter plant first became public in early March. Dave Duquette, president of United Horsemen, a non-profit, pro-slaughter group, has been promoting the plan. The proposed site is a 252-acre parcel near the intersection of Westland Road and Interstate 84.
In the memo, Spencer said he spoke with Umatilla County Planner Tamra Mabbott on Monday about the proposed facility.
"There has been no movement with Umatilla County in terms of meeting with staff or submission of land use applications for the horse slaughter facility," Spencer said. However the land sale has been completed. Duquette has previously said that a California company has agreed to donate the property, but he declined to identify the company.
Mayor Bob Severson and councilors Frank Harkenrider and Jackie Myers spoke out against such a facility in the Hermiston area. Severson has also voiced opposition to such a facility in recent weeks.
Brookshier said the company is "perhaps" involved in an effort to start a horse slaughter operation in New Mexico.
"This appears to be real," Brookshier said. "Probably the best thing right now is for the council to talk to its constituents."