Over Public Outcry, Governor Signs Horse Slaughter Bill

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Forbes / Vickery Eckhoff, Contributor / Uncovering the underground horse meat trade since 2011 / April 2, 2013

Governor Mary Fallin sided with ranchers and the Farm Bureau in overturning Oklahoma's 50-year ban on slaughtering horses.

Governor Mary Fallin sided with ranchers and the Farm Bureau in overturning Oklahoma’s 50-year ban on slaughtering horses..

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin overturned a 50-year state ban on slaughtering horses Friday, ignoring two-thirds of Oklahoma citizens, who oppose slaughtering horses according to a state-wide poll. Nationwide polls show that 80% of Americans are strongly opposed to slaughtering horses

Governor Fallin’s signature on HB1999, the slaughter bill, allows Oklahoma to join four other states now vying for USDA inspections that they need to operate. This will reopen an industry that was shuttered in 2007 after a bitter, long and costly legal and legislative battle.

Oklahoma’s embrace of the horse meat trade comes at an odd time: during a still-widening international food contamination scandal as well as across-the-board cutting of many food and food-safety programs on which U.S. families depend.

Lawmakers in the state, a big beef producer, took less than 20 seconds to push through a committee vote on HB1999. From there, it was rushed through the House and Senate before reaching the Governor’s desk early last week. A companion Senate bill, SB375, was similarly handled. Public comments and debate on both bills were blocked.

Federal tax dollars are used to inspect meat produced in the U.S., whether it’s sold and consumed here or in other countries. Oklahoma’s new law stipulates that the horse meat produced there will be for export only, costing U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars.

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
11 Comments
  • Marcia

    I hope that there are a lot of protests and that the governor doesn’t get reelected. The problem is, people tend to forget after a while (unless they’re members of the NRA) and move on to other things. It takes a long memory sometimes to get this done fairly.

    April 2, 2013
  • Debbie Tracy

    Sad business how that body of gov. pushed this so fast and knowing all that is going on with the tainted meat being found in Foreign countries and how we the people do not want this Horse SLaughter!?!? Hope she likes her position she better enjoy it while she can, cause she will NOT be re-elected that is for sure!!! SHAMEFUL Known of this slaughter makes any sense at ALL!?!?!?

    April 2, 2013
  • edsel

    why would anyone want to kill a horse like that is beyond me,what kind of society have we turned into to want to kill a gift from GOD like that ?

    April 2, 2013
  • Margaret

    Well I hope the “good” people of Oklahoma wake up and smell the fresh air before its tainted with the screams of the horses, excrement, blood and before their septic tanks are overrun with all the blood from the horses. I hope they wake up, start a ballot initiative and let the PEOPLE decide. Then I hope it’s taken to their state Supreme Court. And I hope WE THE PEOPLE also get to vote on whether we want our tax dollars spent like this.

    I’d much rather my tax dollars go to low cost gelding clinics, appropriate euthanasia, cremations costs. If my all of that is ixnayed I’d like to know how much of my taxes goes to inspecting horses laughter plants. I’d subtract that amount from my taxes and donate it to another 501c3 that I BELIEVE in and stand behind.

    It floored me that this Governor when asked said she thought shed could support this bill. Did she not read anyone comments? Does she not understand what shes setting up for her state? Saying her administration is prepared to make sure all the rules are followed is great but WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU LEAVE OFFICE?

    How are you going to protect ALL the wild horses and burros that in holding in Oklahoma? Did you not think of them when you signed this bill? Those horses aren’t a burden to your state alone–we all pay for them by our taxes.

    What about the crime rate? And how the quality of life will suffer? Do you not understand that people’s property value will sink to zero if they are in the same county as a slaughter plant?

    Seems to me Governor that someone bought you. But you aren’t the only one with a HUGE PR problem. Skye McNiel. How can anyone think her family won’t benefit from this slaughter plant. Isn’t that a CONFLICT OF INTEREST? How come you aren’t in the Halls of your State Senate asking for her resignation?

    April 2, 2013
  • Margaret

    Yikes my iPad did it again!

    Second sentence in the second paragraph should read “If all…” and LAUGHTER should OBVIOUSLY be slaughter

    shed is “she’d” shes is she’s that in holding should be “that are in holding”

    Heaven help me my iPad loves to do this to me…

    April 2, 2013
  • Sherillyn Flick

    When Federal tax dollars are used to inspect horsemeat sent to Europe, you know that the “Sequester” is a fraudulent bill of goods rammed down American’s throats. Any money the USDA gets from us taxpayers needs to be used to inspect and protect our OWN food. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin needs to go. She is NOT representing the best interests of her constituents.

    April 2, 2013
    • sherriey

      you hit it right on the head….”“Sequester” is a fraudulent bill of goods rammed down American’s throats”…..by our gov for OUR benefit only! who says they won’t “FIND” the money to inspect the horse-slaughter plants?!
      money talks….BS walks!

      April 3, 2013
  • Deborah Beare

    It has a lot to do with the AQHA being so strong and influential in the state. I live in Tennessee and contacted all my state’s legislators, as well as the Governor’s of Oklahoma and New Mexico. Wyoming will be next.

    April 3, 2013
  • Sue

    IMHO, these types of actions, which are taking part all over the country, show how much the “voice” of the people doesn’t exist anymore. Its all about Big Business and the lobbyists who have access to elected officials through their bribes, also known as, “campaign contributions.”

    April 3, 2013
  • Lorrie

    The word is out far and wide BOYCOTT OKLAHOMA tourism and goods. There are a lot of horse products made in Oklahoma. I want to know how much money greased the governor’s hands to sign this bill??? Also who is going to buy the horse meat? You can’t sell it in the US the EU doesn’t want US horse meat…hello Governor did you think of that before signing the bill? I have yet to see a study regarding horse meat from diseased horses entering the food supply in Europe and elsewhere. That is a scary thought.

    April 3, 2013
  • Timothy

    Shame on you, Governor Mary Fallin!!!!!!

    April 4, 2013