Cross-posted from The Seattle Times
WRITTEN BY LORNET TURNBULL
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.
Congratulations to Allen, and all treasured rescuers and hard-working advocates in the Washington State area that brought this to pass. — Ed.