Live meat market approved for Omaha

Farm Forum

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Omaha residents will soon be able to select live farm animals for future meals and watch as they’re slaughtered.

The Omaha City Council on July 29 approved the creation of a live meat market in the southern part of the city. The council debated for more than an hour on whether to grant a special use permit for Tom’s Live Market.

The business will process animals such as sheep, pigs, rabbits, goats, chickens and small cattle. Customers can pick animals from pens at the business and wait while they’re killed, processed and packaged.

Meyer said the concept is new for Omaha but exists in other cities in the U.S. and around the world.

“It’s just a way for different people with different needs to find their protein,” he told the council. “I have always been a farmer, an ag guy, and I always wanted to see what I’m eating, to see the process.”

He said people who are squeamish don’t have to watch animals being processed, or they can just pick up the meat after it’s already packaged.

Councilmen Chris Jerram, the lone vote against the permit, and Franklin Thompson wanted Meyer to post signs warning children away from areas where they might see animals being killed.

Meyer agreed to urge parents with kids under 12 to wait where they can’t see the slaughter floor.

A handful of other people expressed concerns about food safety and animal rights. Councilman Rich Pahls said that surprised him because there are so many farms and agricultural operations elsewhere in the state where slaughtering animals is routine.