A Russian MP has heralded the opening of a new meat slaughterhouse in his region with an Orthodox service and promises of a “brighter future” for its animals.
Alexander Iltyakov, a State Duma deputy from the ruling United Russia party representing the Kurgan region, presided Thursday over the slaughterhouse’s ceremonial opening which began with a Russian Orthodox blessing.
Built at a cost of 1.3 billion rubles ($17.5 million), the pork plant provides “the ideal conditions for animals to be sent off to a brighter future — as food for people,” Iltyakov was quoted by the Znak.com news website as saying.
“Get ready,” he warned journalists covering the event. “There’s going to be lots of blood.”
The new pork processing plant is operated by Veles, a company belonging to Iltyakov’s family. Founded in 1995, Veles is “one of the largest meat processors in the Urals and western Siberia,” according to the company’s website.
The new Veles slaughterhouse opens ahead of Russia’s high-stakes September parliamentary elections, where United Russia seeks to hang onto its supermajority despite historically low approval ratings.
Iltyakov, who is the secretary of United Russia’s Kurgan regional branch, last made headlines in June for an anti-LGBT TikTok video where he read a short passage from the Bible and claimed “God didn’t create pederasts and lesbians.”
He doubled down on his comments in an interview with local media, saying that he had also read the Torah and found nothing about gays.