Trailered Slaughter Horse. Google image.

Snohomish County Council bans slaughter of horses for food

Cross-posted from The Seattle Times


Horse on his way to slaughter.

Moving to pre-empt the revival of slaughter houses that kill horses for food, the Snohomish County Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to ban the practice.

The Snohomish County Council voted unanimously Wednesday to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption — pre-empting any effort to reinstate the controversial practice anywhere within its jurisdiction.

The council’s action followed impassioned testimony from both sides. It comes about a year after the federal government reinstated inspections of horse-slaughter facilities, making it possible, after a five-year hiatus, for horses to be killed in this country for food.

While not widely consumed in the U.S., horse meat is eaten in parts of Europe, South America and Asia. Under federal law, inspections of slaughterhouses where horses are killed are mandatory, and when funding for those inspections ended in 2007 it essentially ended horse-slaughtering operations in the U.S.

The Snohomish County ordinance, introduced by Councilman Dave Somers and backed by a broad coalition of animal rescuers and advocates, was aimed at preventing the revival of horse slaughtering at Florence Packing, a company located just outside Stanwood.

Allen Warren, founder of the equine sanctuary Horse Harbor Foundation in Kitsap County, said he was told by sources inside Bouvry that the Canadian company had planned to reopen horse slaughtering at the Florence facility now that federal inspections have been allowed to resume.

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Congratulations to Allen, and all treasured rescuers and hard-working advocates in the Washington State area that brought this to pass. — Ed.

5 thoughts on “Snohomish County Council bans slaughter of horses for food”

  1. But reading the newspaper comments just goes to show you how nut ball most of the these people really are. None of them have ever been around horses at all. Wouldn’t know one end of a horse from the other. They have been raised in apartments, the burbs and on sidewalks they don’t even know where their food comes from. I live in Washington state and I emailed the council members and sent telling them this is what these horses are put through every day in these slaughter plants. I hope somebody went to the site and took a look at the cruelty. That article is wrong about the horse meat inspectors because from what I understand the bill was passed defunding the inspections but the government hasn’t passed the spending bill yet. What Bouvry does have in that area is a feed lot or holding pens where horses bought at auctions are picked up and transported to Canada. But you can see how much the cattle industry is involved in keeping horse slaughter going. They use the tired excuse that animal rights groups will try to shut down cattle slaughter plants if they stop horse slaughter.


    1. “They use the tired excuse that animal rights groups will try to shut down cattle slaughter plants if they stop horse slaughter.” That is a tired old excuse Barbara they have been using for years. Insofar as the comments, perhaps we shouldn’t judge all of Washington State by these people; mostly likely the pro rodeo people there having their evil say.


  2. I’m glad that they have decided to ban slaughter in this county…My fear is it will open somewhere nearby …….As I read the articles it infuriates me how ignorant people can be to think these are old horses and ex-rodeo horses…These horses are healthy,young horses …..Some of them being Thoroughbreds,and many of them are a product of over breeding and money hungry humans that could care less about the out come of what that creates…..Horses that people no longer want and family pets that people no longer want …….People that have only the idea to make a quick dollar…The whole idea of the HORSES that REALLY go to slaughter makes many Americans sick!…..Horses,or any companion animal is not like a diaper that one just throws away!….God be with all of those animals that suffer at the hands of human beings and I pray the humans will have to answer to a higher being….I urge everyone and anyone that loves animals to continue your fight to STOP this horrific act!


  3. Cudos, I wish all county councils would do this, Americans love horses always have and always will American people will not be eating them. Vets should also vote to ban horse slaughter for human consumption:( It is all about money I hope people wake up and smell the roses before its too late:(


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