MEDIA RELEASE: Plans for Jacksonville Slaughterhouse Withdrawn Following Public Outcry

MEDIA RELEASE: Plans for Jacksonville Slaughterhouse Withdrawn Following Public Outcry

New Slaughterhouse in Jacksonville Halted by Citizen Action
Application Withdrawn During Public Hearing


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 26, 2024) — In Defense of Animals, Plant Based Treaty, Solutionary Species, and community residents are celebrating a win after joining forces to oppose the building of a new slaughterhouse in Jacksonville. 

Dozens of activists and citizens showed up to speak at the Jacksonville Planning Commission public hearing on April 18, which led to a surprise announcement by Mohammad Faisal, owner of Apna Bazar (also trading as Apna Bazaar and Apna Jax). After hearing from activists and community members, Faisal withdrew the application for electric, sewer and water service and a zoning exception for the property and publicly apologized to the community.


Faisal said, “We are not here to hurt them [local citizens] or make them complain for anything they think we should not be doing. So that’s why we’re withdrawing our application and I’m sorry, again I want to apologize for that.”

Activists initially found out about the proposal because of one single news article documenting plans to build "a 25,000-square-foot processing facility at 7709 Woodley Road, west of New Kings Road on the western edge of a light industrial area that includes a vehicle salvaging and parts operation, a manufacturing facility and a trucking company." 

Apna Bazar’s new halal slaughterhouse would have greatly impacted their quality of life and added substantial infrastructure to traumatize and kill farmed animals. 

Local resident and property owner Stacie Murray Colbert reached out to In Defense of Animals for help when she first learned of plans to build the slaughterhouse right next door to her family home where her 84-year-old mother currently resides. 

Upon hearing the victory, Colbert said, “Victory is ours! When they say there is power in numbers, it is so true. The problem started when we found out who the new prospective buyer was and what they wanted to do with the property. I knew we could not fight this alone, so I reached out for help because we were running out of time! The support was so plentiful that the owner withdrew his request and apologized for any inconvenience to our families and neighbors.”

“The slaughterhouse was still in the permitting process, so we had a unique opportunity to speak out against it,” said Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director for In Defense of Animals. “When Stacie Colbert contacted our animal activist support line for help, we knew we had to act fast. We reached out to our allies to support her efforts to stop the slaughterhouse from being built. We are delighted to have helped prevent environmental pollution, hazardous traffic, and the screams of suffering animals from destroying this peaceful residential neighborhood.”

Building a slaughterhouse in this neighborhood is a classic example of environmental racism,  policies and practices that discriminate against communities of color by making them live near landfills, sewage plants, and slaughterhouses. People who live near slaughterhouses suffer from higher rates of infections, kidney disease, cancers, anemia, asthma, anxiety, and depression. Traffic increases and their property values decline. They struggle with the pollution and noise, including putrid smells and haunting animal cries.

The true cost of slaughterhouses include environmental degradation, soil acidification, water contamination, and air pollution which lead to forest fires, floods, and extreme weather. They also contribute to zoonotic disease outbreaks, human health problems, and immense animal suffering as documented in the recent film, The Smell of Money

“This victory goes to show that people have the power to make a difference by showing up and speaking out against these unnecessary facilities,” said Malaina Watts, U.S. Liaison and Campaigner for Plant Based Treaty. “We are living in a time when we should be phasing out animal agriculture and switching to plant based food systems, to make crucial changes necessary for our health and the future of our planet and all those that we share it with.” 

After attending the hearing, Shannon Blair, President of Solutionary Species, shared her joy, “We are overjoyed that our voices, united in purpose and number, have successfully protected the animals and this community from a horrific new murdering facility being erected. This victory reminds us all of the powerful impact we can have when we stand together. Let it be a resounding message that active participation and collective action are not only vital but truly effective. Together, we can shape the future we desire!"

Levinson added, “The owner of Apna Bazar acted with great integrity to withdraw the application in the middle of the meeting and then apologize for causing so much distress. His example shines a light for us all to align our actions with our morals and values, such as kindness and compassion.” 


### NOTES ###

Application for zoning exception withdrawn by Andre Bahri of Prestige Properties on behalf of Apna Jax (Apna Bazar/Apna Bazaar)

The Smell of Money film trailer and community resources.  

In Defense of Animals’ Farmed Animals Campaign

Farmed Animal Issues
Humane Farming Hoax
Downloadable Vegan Guide: 

Sign and endorse the Plant Based Treaty to avert the climate crisis and heal the planet. 



Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director, In Defense of Animals,, 215-620-2130
Malaina Watts, U.S. Liaison/Campaigner, Plant Based Treaty,, 941-421-6343
Shannon Blair, Solutionary Species,, 845-891-6437
Stacie Murray Colbert,, 904-718-6337

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats through education, campaigns, and hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, rural Mississippi, and central California.

The Plant-Based Treaty is a grassroots initiative calling upon national governments to negotiate a landmark international treaty — the first of its kind to put food systems at the heart of combating the climate crisis. 

Solutionary Species is a for-purpose outreach movement with a mission to create healthy, compassionate, and regenerative communities through coordinating educational and socially responsible events, actions, and experiences that promote practical and effective solutions for people, animals, and the environment. Most of their current efforts can be seen through the Animal Activism Mentorship (AAM) program.  

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