A group of Muslims have opposed plans for a pet food factory to be built as possible pork emissions will violate their religious rights.
Butchers Pet Care could shelve plans for a factory in Coton Park, near Rugby, because angry Asian families have complained to their residents’ association about pork smells drifting into their garden.
Muslim residents in the area also claim the pork will effectively “rain down” on their homes and gardens after the factory’s 100ft chimney has pumped the meat extracts into the atmosphere.
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The Coton Park Residential Association said they have received complaints from Muslims – who are directed to not eat pork by the Qur’an – and are taking the matter very seriously.
Muslim families are worried that the pet food factory will infect the air with pork emissions and violate their religious beliefs
One family who live less than 100 yards from the proposed factory, but who did not wish to be identified, said: “A significant proportion of meats used in the pet foods processes are pig meat.
“Our religion expressly forbids us to consume pig meat in any form.
“Because of the way in which this meat material will leave the factory and give that the area can be ‘rained upon’ we will be consuming pork via inhalation of this ‘rain’.
“Not only that but our clothes will be contaminated by pork.”
Another family from the Coton Park housing estate said: “The owners of the proposed factory do not dispute the claim that meat extracts of pork will be pumped into the atmosphere via a 100ft chimney.
“They have said there will not be any chemical treatment proposed to treat the meat extracts before they leave the factory.”
Association spokesperson Grant Scott said: “Several families have complained because of the smell of the pork, and also if the factory is cooking with it, pork particles and odour could rain down on them from the chimney at some point.
“It was something we hadn’t taken on board before but it’s definitely important and is a very delicate issue.
“If Muslims are unhappy about it, then Jews may complain for the same reason, and Hindus may complain because of their beliefs about cows being sacred animals.
“There is a significant Muslim element in our area, so there is a potential problem.”
Another Muslim family added: “A Muslim is obliged to be clean spiritually, mentally and physically.
“Abstention from eating flesh of swine is one of the obligations a Muslim must observe to attain purity of the soul and of the human nature.
“Therefore, we believe that not only will we be contaminated but also our faith by the owners of this proposed pet food plant.
“In this country we are allowed the right to follow our religion and religious beliefs. By allowing this plan to go ahead our religious rights are being swept to one side for what appears to be economic greed.
“We feel sure that there are other areas where this factory could be built that would not impact on us or others like us.”
The Environmental Health Agency are investigating the potential affects, with a decision about the factory’s future due in September.
The pet food company said there is an ‘almost 99% guarantee’ the smell of pork would not reach the Coton Meadows residential area.
A statement from Butchers Pet Care said: “The majority of our natural products are beef and poultry.
“Pork ingredients account for less than 10% of our range.
“At Coton Park we plan to introduce state-of-the-art odour extraction through the chimney stack.
“An environmental impact report has already concluded that emissions at the proposed Coton Park site should not have an adverse impact on air quality and odour levels.
“We would like to reiterate that we do not burn any animal materials.”