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Dallas Company In Pig Blood Dumping Controversy To Reopen

BJ Austin

Columbia Packing on 11th St. in Oak Cliff is back in business. A year and a half ago, the city of Dallas shut down the company after pig blood was discovered dumped in a nearby creek that feeds the Trinity River.

A criminal investigation into the pig blood dumping resulted in indictments against two members of the family-owned business.

Dallas Councilman Dwaine Caraway is not happy the city has given Columbia the green light to reopen as a meatpacking and distribution facility – even though the slaughter house use has been eliminated.

“Slaughter was not the only problem.  Blood is blood," Caraway said. "You have a little bit more blood slaughtering. But if you’re still packaging, you still have spillage and you still have blood.”

Caraway says the city jumped the gun in clearing the company to reopen while criminal charges are outstanding.  A trial is set for August, but settlement discussions are underway.

Columbia’s owners, the Ondrusek family says they are pleased to move forward and serve customers, and hope to rehire many employees who were laid off. 

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.