Yakamas urge feds to consider horse slaughter
Posted at: 04/01/2013 3:30 PM
By: The Associated Press
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - An American Indian tribe in the Pacific Northwest is asking the federal government to explain its position against slaughtering horses in the United States.
Yakama Nation Chairman Harry Smiskin says he's disappointed that the Department of Agriculture has urged Congress to reinstate a ban on slaughtering horses.
Biologists estimate the Yakama Nation has some 12,000 wild horses on its sprawling, south-central Washington reservation. Smiskin says the overpopulation of horses there is harming streambeds and hurting the tribe's efforts to reintroduce native species.
Smiskin sent a letter to President Barack Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on March 29. The letter comes as the agency prepares to inspect a southern New Mexico meat company that has been fighting for approval to convert its former cattle slaughter operation into a horse slaughterhouse.
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