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Rosemead Slaughterhouse Fighting To Stay Off Chopping Block Over Foul Odor

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(credit: Su-E Tan) Suzie Suh
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ROSEMEAD (CBS) — Residents of a Rosemead neighborhood have cried foul over the smells coming from a poultry business, leading to orders from the city to shut it down.

The business’s owners call it discrimination, but the folks who live nearby claim that the stench is unbearable.

Dana Phu is no spring chicken when it comes to the business of birds. Phu and her husband own Cal Poultry Vikon in Rosemead — their nest egg for more than 20 years.

“This place is our life,” she said. “We have the brown chicken, guinea hens.”

For just as long as it’s been open, William Su has frequented the store to buy fresh chickens with head and feet intact for food and religious purposes.

“We, as the Buddhism or Taoism, we pray with whole chicken,” Su said.

Being the only shop of its kind in West San Gabriel Valley, the Phus sell hundreds of chickens every day, providing, as Su said, “fresh food and very good service” to their customers.

But now the time is ticking — the slaughterhouse could soon go on the chopping block.

“It’s just not my husband and I, but it’s hurting a whole family of people, the people we know and the people we provide a service to,” Phu said.

Two years ago city officials passed an ordinance to shut down the poultry house after complaints from neighbors of foul odors and loose chickens.

“My goodness. You want to eat, you can’t eat. It smells terrible when they kill the chickens,” said neighbor Yolanda Gomez.

Yolanda and Magdaleno Gomez’s feathers have been ruffled for years. They live just behind the poultry shop.

“It smells like sewer,” Magdaleno Gomez said.

The Gomez’s added that their issue is only with the smell.

But Tom Tran, who works across the street, said that he was not bothered by the odor.

“You smell it in the morning, but in the afternoon it’s gone,” Tran said.

As a last resort, the couple is suing the city for religious and cultural discrimination.

“They just pick on us, single us out for last few years,” Phu said.

The city attorney could not be reached for comment at the time of this report.

The Phus said that all they want is a chance address the odor issue and keep their business open. They could be shut down as early as next month.

“If they close us, we really have nowhere else to go… This has been our life and a family’s life as well,” Phu said.

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