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Council approves slaughterhouses on farmland

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Council approves slaughterhouses on farmland

KGMI News Reporting
By Mike Curtiss

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. – Slaughtering animals and packaging meat is now permitted on Whatcom County farmland.

After a long and contentious public hearing last night, the Whatcom County Council narrowly approved changes to county law, allowing slaughterhouses in agricultural zones.

Council members Barbara Brenner, Ken Mann and Carl Weimer were opposed.

Many people still had concerns about how much water the slaughterhouses would use and how much they would pollute.

Irene Morgan, former co-owner of Morgan Meats, which used to operate in Whatcom County, told the council that slaughterhouses use a large amount of water and dispose of a lot of blood.

Play Irene Morgan on slaughterhouses

She recommends that slaughterhouses be allowed only on a case-by-case basis and that they be forbidden in wetlands.

The council has been debating allowing slaughterhouses for over a year, and council member Bill Knutzen says they’ve already made enough compromises on the issue.

Play Bill Knutzen on debate

Council member Brenner proposed limiting the number of slaughterhouses and forbidding them in frequently flooded areas, but the council defeated both of her recommendations.