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Black Earth Meats closes after 7 years in business

Village board continues action against meat shop for being ‘public nuisance'

MADISON, Wis. - Officials at Black Earth Meats announced on their Facebook page that Tuesday was their last slaughter and after July they will not be open for business.

The meat company specializes in organic, locally-grown meat, and has been open for seven years. But complaints from village residents about excessive animal noise and blood or other byproducts in the street prompted officials to push the slaughterhouse out.

Village President Patrick Troge said in May that Black Earth Meats had grown too big for its facility and was disrupting village services and creating problems for neighbors, including a school.

"Our bank was unable to renew our note as a result of the village of Black Earth Board's ongoing actions against the business as a ‘public nuisance,'" the post said.

Owners said the closure affects hundreds of Wisconsin and Driftess Area farmers, the community of Black Earth, and over 100 restaurants, retailers and farmers markets.

"It affects all of our employees. It affects the thousands of customers who rely on us for good meat. And it affects the development of a local food infrastructure and small scale processing," the post said.

Owner Bartlett Durand said 22 employees will lose their jobs.

Black Earth Meats' operation manager commented on Facebook and said they are working with investors to try and continue what they started.

"I am not giving up the fight," the comment said.

The company's retail shop on University Avenue in Madison, The Conscious Carnivore, will remain open, according to a release.

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