Oklahoma Senate, House OK horse slaughtering bills

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By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press, February 20, 2013

 

images-8OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma could soon allow the slaughter of horses for human consumption, ending a ban that has been in place in the state for close to 50 years, under a pair of bills easily approved Wednesday in the Oklahoma Legislature.

Both the House and Senate passed separate bills that would end the ban and allow a horse slaughtering plant to open in the state. Both measures still would ban the sale of horse meat for consumption in Oklahoma, but would allow for the meat to be exported to other countries.

Rep. Skye McNiel said passage of the bill could provide a humane option for unwanted, aging horses, many of which are abandoned or eventually shipped to horse slaughtering facilities in Mexico. She said where she lives in rural Oklahoma, older horses often are abandoned on dead end roads or pastures by people who can no longer afford to care for them.

“Nobody wants horses to be abused. I don’t,” said McNiel, R-Bristow, who said during debate on the bill that she grew up riding horses. “They have value as live animals. Why can’t they have value after they’re done with their usefulness? Why can’t they have value as a dead animal?”

Opening a slaughterhouse for the iconic animal with an integral part in the state’s history sends a bad message to the rest of the country, argued Rep. David Dank.

“We’re talking about image here,” said Dank, R-Oklahoma City. “I don’t want people talking about Oklahoma as the state where you’re slaughtering horses.”

Cynthia Armstrong, the Oklahoma state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said the argument that a slaughterhouse provides a humane option for abandoned horses is a false one.

“They have no interest whatsoever in rescuing broken down, starving horses,” Armstrong said. “Statistics show that over 92 percent of the horses that go to slaughter are in good shape.

“The overwhelming majority of horses that go to slaughter are not starving, neglected horses out on somebody’s property. They’re quarterhorses.”

She said the humane way to dispose of a horse is to have it euthanized by a veterinarian and either buried or taken to a rendering plant. Armstrong also complained both bills are being “fast-tracked” through the Legislature before opposition mounts.

Lawmakers complained they’ve already received dozens of calls from people opposed to the idea of slaughtering horses for human consumption.

Rep. Don Armes, who debated in favor of the bill, said one woman who telephoned his office called him a “despicable human being.”

“This isn’t about eating horses, folks,” said Armes, R-Faxon. “We don’t eat horses in America.”

A horse meat scandal has roiled Europe after it was detected in food products labeled as beef across the continent. Horse meat has turned up in frozen supermarket meals such as burgers and lasagna, in beef pasta sauce, on restaurant menus, in school lunches and in hospital meals.

Horse meat is largely taboo in Britain and Ireland, though it is eaten in European countries such as France, Belgium and Italy. It also is eaten by many in China, among the traditionally nomadic people of Central Asia and in parts of Latin America.

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Online:

House Bill 1999: http://bit.ly/VwMkLx

Senate Bill 375: http://bit.ly/Ynzkoa

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Sean Murphy can be reached at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Oklahoma-Senate-House-OK-horse-slaughtering-bills-4294782.php#ixzz2LUUCR5Rh




AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
35 Comments
  • Two points:

    First, hypocrites. It remains illegal for horses to be slaughtered for consumption in the state but not overseas? That sounds more like an economic decision — not one for “humane” reasons. We will kill them for profit, but don’t worry, we won’t be the barbarians eating them — Europeans will?

    Second. Why don’t they try increasing penalties for those who neglect, abuse, and abandoned horses? It makes more sense to punish the offenders rather than the victims.

    I am appalled and disgusted.

    February 21, 2013
    • Judy Lane

      Lahle Wolfe , I agree completely. So then why is it this went through so fast? Somone who will be benefitting monetarily will be at the source, I’me sure. And Sally Jewell, actually worked for Big Oil early on in her career, so she won’t be much help with saving any Wild Mustangs.

      February 21, 2013
    • Nancy

      We are Lahle Wolfe, go sign the petition! please you can find it in “Habitat for Horses” or Nancy’s fight Against Animal Cruelty just have to click. thanx…. Oh & about eating horse I m sorry your mistaken they are doing it for our consumption also so you see we are the barbarians sorry

      February 26, 2013
  • G. M. Gay

    You can bet your bippy I will never again visit the state of Oklahoma.

    February 21, 2013
  • S.Davis

    Rep Skye McNiel says “Why can’t they have value after they’re done with their usefulness.
    You mean after HUMANS decide whether they are of no use or value to HUMANS any longer! Even though many are perfectly healthy horses. Anyone who would support this should be forced to watch live video of the abuse and terror these horses have to face. What a disgrace!

    February 21, 2013
  • Total insanity. Human consumption slaughter plants don’t accept horses like the ones they claim they want to provide a “humane” death. Of course, slaughter is anything but humane, as we all know.

    Food safety rules anyone? After July 31, the EU won’t accept horses without a passport. All American horses are out by default. No ID by the age of 6 months, no detailed health record of every drug they have received for their entire life, and no central data base where numbers on the ID can be checked against the numbers on the passports. Even if we managed to implement a passport system – given that the USDA is worse than busted – it would be too late for every living horse anyway.

    Even if this place got built – which it won’t – with NO market it would close rather quickly. With no investors, it’s not going to open anyway. Remember, the Moran Amendment is still in the House Budget, and they would be crazy to remove it if they EVER vote on anything. With all this, would YOU invest in this pipe-dream?

    Too bad these dopes didn’t do a little home work instead of just falling for pro-slaughter propaganda hook, line and sinker.

    February 21, 2013
  • Cynthia Curtis

    Disgusting,I will also boycott the state of Oklahoma and at the same time pray that the state of Texas has more sense! How tragic and sad that money is so important over the welfare of our horses.

    February 21, 2013
  • Ingrid Mattsson

    Who is going to want to eat this poison!!!!!!

    February 21, 2013
  • Judith Keene

    Im very disgusted with Oklahoma right now! Somehow i always thought that they thought more of our horses than this! How could they do this? Starting up slaughter again just encourages overbreeding, irresponsibility and neglect. Plus, it also helps contribute to the stolen horse problem and contributes to abuse. Its a dirty, filthy bunch of scum that make a living killing horses!! The state should be ashamed!! The ones who support slaughter plants should be voted out, period!!

    February 21, 2013
    • Judy Lane

      For SHAME on you Oklahoma. Why would the good citizens NOT speak up agains this? Is it they need jobs for the illegals that are coming into their state?

      February 21, 2013
      • Brenda wescott

        Judy, we “good citizens” have spoken up!! Our legislators choose to ignore what we think. Why? because they will have monetary gain by passing this bill. The authors family owns livestock auctions, another’s father hauls horses to Mexico for slaughter. Do you think they care one twit for horses OR what we think???

        February 22, 2013
        • Judy Lane

          I’m so sorry to hear that the good citizens have been trying to stop this, but it went through so fast, it is an inside job that the bills got passed. It has nothing to do with good government ‘for the people’ . It’s all about GREED and MONEY. Bastards.

          February 22, 2013
  • Laurel

    As a retired OB nurse, I have been striving to educate the public about the effects of Bute on the fetus or newborn. It is prohibited to administer Bute to an animal suspected to be pregnant or nursing.

    Phenylbutazone (Bute) is a Teratogenic Agent:

    There is evidence to indicate that exposure to Phenylbutazone during pregnancy may have a teratogenic effect on the fetus. A teratogen is a substance that can cause birth defects. The likelihood and severity of defects may be affected by the level of exposure and the stage of pregnancy that the exposure occurred at.
    Studies on birth defects with these medicines have not been done in humans. However, there is a chance that these medicines may cause unwanted effects on the heart or blood flow of the fetus or newborn baby if they are taken regularly during the last few months of pregnancy. Also, studies in animals have shown that these medicines, if taken late in pregnancy, may increase the length of pregnancy, prolong labor, or cause other problems during delivery, including still-births.
    Transferrance during lactation (breast feeding) may cause heart disease in the newborn.

    We know that all who participate in equine slaughter are cruel, unscrupulous, and usually liars. Why would we expect a moral business ethic when dealing with such people.
    If horse slaughter re-opens in USA, you can bet that WE will have contaminated beef. And it may be the innocent newborns that will suffer. Lordy! Don’t we have enough childhood diseases! and risks for birth-defects, autism, etc.

    February 21, 2013
  • Arlene

    I am thoroughly disgusted with Oklahoma, also will not ever step foot in that State, come to your senses Oklahoma……………..

    February 21, 2013
    • Brenda wescott

      I live here, own horses and it makes me SICK and I’ m not the only one!!! I understand how you feel! You have to understands that they ONLY THING we can do is not vote for these politicians next time but by then they will have gotten what they got into office for in the first place.

      February 22, 2013
      • Judy Lane

        Write to whoever has any influence in your state legislature and send them articles about what this really means for your state. I am thinking that the feds have promised dought relief funds for OK if you folks would team up with them for this. BAD partnership indeed!

        February 22, 2013
  • I totally agree with everyone here! 🙁 i am soo discusted and apaulled!

    February 21, 2013
  • I am both appalled and disgusted by this, and I will never set foot in Ok again. It is not the old, starved horses these plants want but young, plump horses. It leads to irresponsible breeding etc.

    February 21, 2013
    • Brenda wescott

      You are absolutely correct! They get paid by the pound! You think your disgusted???? I live here and own horses?

      February 22, 2013
  • Marcia

    This is a humane solution for old, sick, and abandoned horses? Give me a break! No animals should be treated this way. I suspect there is the incentive of money driving this whole thing. As for the failure to ban slaughter for horses–just look at the hunting frenzy going on–wolves, bison, squirrels, pigeons–driven by wealthy and powerful gun organizations that get the laws they want.

    February 21, 2013
    • Brenda wescott

      You got it!!! Money and politicians, goes hand in hand!

      February 22, 2013
  • Christi

    Having let my heart rate go down, and clinching of teeth has subsided, the fact that the House and Senate passed separate bills in one week is unbelievable. If only the US government could move this quickly. I have never read so many opinions that apparently have not been researched. If I lived in OK I would do my best to be sure these representatives were ousted. Many a year my daughter and I attended the Arabian horse shows in OK City. Actually in 1997 she won U.S. Nationals, so we have lots of fond memories there. We visited The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, where there are hundreds of photos of horses in every corner. I believe the people of the city are mostly unaware of the slaughter house plans.
    I believe this has come about because of the thousands of wild horses in the OK holding pens costing the government millions of dollars. This means they can now open auctions (required)to sell the horses. This frees up the BLM to continue their vile helicopter roundups. The continued pipeline for a very few citizens to make an astounding amount of money without lifting a finger. Don’t believe oil companies etc. are the main group ruining these public grasslands, the cattlemen are raking it in big time. What will happen to them when tainted horse meat shows up in the US markets?? These idiots follow up with ‘Both measures still would ban the sale of horse meat for consumption in Oklahoma, but would allow for the meat to be exported to other countries.’ Why not sell it in Oklahoma?
    I praise those who are trying to give reason to stop these bills. There are so many words to describe these people voting: Causing disgust: offensive to the physical, moral, or aesthetic taste; strong expressions of revulsion; repugnant; offensive-disagreeable to the senses; loathsome, nasty, vile, hateful, detestable…. I would hope that all of the different breeds of horse shows, and they bring a great deal of income, would pull out of this city.

    February 21, 2013
    • Brenda wescott

      All horse lovers need to stay out of Oklahome. There are a few good people in Okla. City trying to stop this disgusting, repulsive bill but the unfortunate thing is they are outnumbered by the money grabbers.

      February 22, 2013
  • Sue Wallis Lies

    Well, well, looks like OK just shot themselves in the foot with the passage of these two bills. The horse show state? More like the horse killing state. Sue Wallis if the IEBA is most likely behind this debacle since she has been trying to open a slaughter plant for about 7 years and has been stymied by people smarter than those in OK.She is bankrolled by European businessmen who want cheap horse meat to poison their citizens with. Just look at what is going on over there! My God, if American think that can’t happen here think again. It can and if the USDA allows the inspection of horse slaughter plants it most likely will. Wake up America and speak up!

    February 22, 2013
  • Rita Bengtson

    Well I can’t believe what I’ve been reading and watching on video. People in OK should be ashamed and appalled by what their politicians have voted on, and that Sue Wallis should be taken out behind the barn and whipped or….People have become more greedy and they never have enough and now to make their money this way is absolutely disgusting. These animals have done nothing but give us love and we kill them to feed Europe, China, Japan, there they eat horse meat raw, it is a so called delicacy. It makes me sick, SICK to think this is happening. We cannot kill our horses here or anywhere else it has to be stopped, someway, somehow, somebody has to care in government enough to put a stop to this. My heart is breaking over this and I hope and pray that somewhere someone is listening.

    February 22, 2013
  • Tami Louk

    This is Disgusting I can not comment on what I feel here THE people writing this bill should be put out of office !!!!!!!!!! MAKE A NEW SIGN WELCOME TO OKLAHOMA THE HORSE SLAUGHTER STATE WE KILL YOUR HORSES HERE!!!!!!! OMG

    February 22, 2013
  • Shelia Addair

    This is so disgusting, I can’t believe our own Country, The United States of America would ever allowed this to happen. What about the Native Americans that live in Oklahoma..wonder how they feel that their beloved horses are going to the slaughter house? I’m ashamed of our Country. The ones that allowed this bill to be passed, should have to witness every day, all day long, the slaughtering of these horses, the horrific act of killing. Shame on you, Oklahoma, and the rest of you that let this bill be passed.

    February 24, 2013
    • Nancy

      Do you know that horses get as foals immunization that is not for us to consume it will be like poisoning most of us that won’t have an immediate allergic reaction & die we will just be sick for along time until we die…. HUNGRY? Now…

      February 26, 2013
  • Nancy

    Has this been ok’d by the governor of Oklahoma? Is he expected to sign it or veto it? & when?

    February 24, 2013
  • Alyce

    Well, since I don’t see many many people stepping up to help these animals like buying the feed, educating people about breeding, and sure don’t see them going out each day to feed them, unfortuntely it is an ugly neccesity! Since Americans “stopped” horse slaughter here in the US, guess what, they are taking thehorses to Mexico and there is NO regulation on how they are killed, they stand on trailers and at least in the US it is regulated! I have seen more horses and donkeys starving because there is NO PLACE FOR THESE HORSES TO GO! Go beyond what makes you feel better. I am ashamed of how people don’t go beyond what they want to make themselves feel better! STEP UP and open your eyes! I am not going to bother coming back to this site, so I don’t really care what complaints the ignorance you all might say! I know the real horse world!

    February 26, 2013
  • Sarah

    Guess what? Horses are hauled by their owners to various OKLAHOMA stockyards all the time and many of these are sent to Mexico for slaughter. We need to have a horse slaughterhouse locally so these critters don’t have to endure the long ride to Mexico. People aren’t going to pay hundreds of dollars to have the horse euthanized and to have someone haul the body away. The fact is that there are many many unwanted horses and bleeding hearts don’t have a workable solution.

    February 27, 2013
  • MJ C

    Oh Sarah, I wonder if you are making money off the backs of your horses too?

    Or have you just not ever seen a horse slaughtered that you think it in some way is humane?

    And the critters you speak of are the “critters” we ride, love and spend time with while we teach them to trust us.

    I’m glad I’m a bleeding heart and not a cold heart.

    February 27, 2013
  • Ray Garrett

    We do NOT need a Horse Meat factory in Oklahoma. Unless Mary Fallon herself wishes to eat Mr. Ed herself! This is disgusting. Oklahoma needs jobs everyone can do. Not just specialty people. This is NOT a job for everyone. Maybe Mary Fallon would stop this if she saw HOW they kill cows and horses. It is inhumane and disgusting! I am appalled Oklahoma government is messing with this and not trying to block us from Obamacare. Tennessee citizens are now exempt from Obamacare. Yet Oklahoma Government wishes to eat horse! What a bunch of LOSERS!

    March 2, 2013
  • chevon

    My question to the sick ppl who allowed to let this bill pass is if they think its ok to slaughter horses after they are worthless is other ok to slaughter ppl when the grow old and sick or our children if they have a birth deffect or cancer? those horses feel pain to and i have done a lot of research and the things I’ve read and seen about slaughter houses is sick cruel and plain disgusting. there is a reason it was prohibited in the first place the older horses should b able to live out their lives in peace the earned it!

    March 11, 2013