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Horse slaughter bill awaits Governor’s signature

OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure allowing horse slaughter in Oklahoma, a practice that’s been banned for 50 years, now awaits Governor Fallin’s signature.

Supporters of the horse slaughter bill, House Bill 1999, say slaughtering horses in Oklahoma would be humane, as opposed to the methods currently used in Mexico, which are brutal.

The Humane Society disagrees.

“I think that’s a ridiculous argument because the method of slaughter in Mexico is identical to the method of slaughter that was used when the U.S. slaughter plants were open,” Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma Director of the Humane Society, said.

She’s hoping Governor Fallin vetoes HB 1999.

While the bill would allow for horse slaughter plants to operate in the state, it would not allow the sale of horse meat for consumption in Oklahoma.

“They are a predatory industry looking for as many young, meaty animals as they can find in order to butcher them, shrink wrap the meat and send it to Europe for human consumption,” Armstrong said.

The Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) hired SoonerPoll.Com to gage the public’s opinion on the issue.

CEO Bill Shapard says the results showed two thirds of Oklahomans are against horse slaughter.

He wrote a letter to the Governor, hoping she will “carefully consider the public’s collective opinion on this legislation.”

“I felt like no one was taking into consideration the collective voice of the voting public,” Shapard said.

Terry Detrick, President of American Farmers and Ranchers, said slaughter methods would be regulated in Oklahoma and those who care about horses are obligated to ensure they have a dignified passing.

“Yeah, they can send them to Mexico and then they really are abused,” he said.  “It’s a humane thing to do and we see too much of inhumane practices because of the way things are set up now.”

The governor’s office told us she is expected to make a decision on that bill by the end of the week.