State Senate committee advances bill on commercial slaughter of horses


Wayne Greene / Tulsa World / February 12, 2913


Sen. Mark Allen: The Republican put language in the bill to ensure that horses couldn't be sold directly to a slaughterhouse.

Sen. Mark Allen: The Republican put language in the bill to ensure that horses couldn’t be sold directly to a slaughterhouse.

A state Senate committee unanimously passed a bill to allow the operation of horse slaughterhouses in the state.

Senate Bill 375 – written by Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro – passed the Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Committee on a 9-0 vote without debate or question.

Before the bill was considered, Allen announced that he had substituted new language in the bill that would ensure that meat produced at an equine slaughterhouse would be consumed only outside the state and that animals would be allowed to come to a facility only through a livestock auction and a livestock dealer, meaning horses couldn’t be sold directly to a slaughterhouse.

Cynthia Armstrong, state director of the Humane Society of the United States, said the changes to Allen’s bill didn’t make it any less horrible and unacceptable for the state.

“Oklahoma City has a reputation as the Horse Show Capital of the World,” Armstrong said. “We do not need to be known as the Dead Horse Capital of the U.S.”

Horse meat is toxic, and horse slaughterhouses are filthy and inhumane, she said.

No horse slaughterhouses now operate in the United States after three facilities closed amid numerous problems, including sewer overflows, she said.

American horses aren’t raised to be food and are routinely injected with drugs that would make the meat’s consumption dangerous, she said.

“They know very well (the) meat is toxic,” Armstrong said. “The reason we won’t be eating it in the United States is because the FDA would never allow it.”

Armstrong said she asked to address the committee but wasn’t allowed to do so.

“They had their minds made up, and that was really unfortunate,” she said.

Although the committee voted overwhelmingly for the measure, she said she expected overwhelming public opinion to make it impossible for the bill – or for a similar proposal pending in the state House – to become law.

A 2012 poll conducted for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shows that 80 percent of American voters were opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption.

“I think the word is just getting out about these two pieces of legislation,” Armstrong said. “When the word gets out, … (the public will) speak out, and I’m sure the representatives will hear loud and clear.”

The next step for Allen’s bill is consideration by the full Senate.

A state House committee is scheduled to consider the other proposal – House Bill 1999 – Tuesday.

Read more and comment at Tulsa World

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • “Allen announced that he had substituted new language in the bill that would ensure that meat produced at an equine slaughterhouse would be consumed only outside the state and that animals would be allowed to come to a facility only through a livestock auction and a livestock dealer, meaning horses couldn’t be sold directly to a slaughterhouse.”

    How fortuitous! Rep. Skye McNiel is sponsoring other slaughter legislation that will be voted on today in the house Public Health Committee, and this will really help her family’s horse auction, Mid America Stockyards (, Oklahoma’s largest! Good to see state legislators working to enrich each other. Now how about calling out that very obvious conflict of interest?

    February 12, 2013
  • Our policitians are so corrupt. These greedy bastards. Killing horses to line their pockets, and never giving a thought to the image it will create for Oklahoma – the horse slaughter state.

    February 12, 2013
  • elizabeth Dana

    Oklahomans- be prepared for BACKLASH – Tourist Dollars are going to disappear!

    How un-godly unclean and filthy a meat to feed anyone?

    February 12, 2013
  • gloria eighmey

    Horse slaughter has nothing to do with unwanted horses. And the people of Oklahoma which is the horse capital of the world will not stand for the lies and pro horse slaughter propaganda. It is about money, Rep. Skye McNiel is sponsoring horse slaughter legislation that will tremendously help her family’s horse auction . It is the largest auction house in Oklahoma. 80 percent of Americans are against horse slaughter. And the number is constantly growing.We do not We do not want horse slaughter, this horrendous blight in our state. And we don’t want ANY tax money being spent for inspections of meat we do not even eat in our country or state.

    February 12, 2013
  • Donna Orr

    The Republicans wonder why they are loosing votes? Hey boys wake up, there is an overwelming number of voting public in our great United States that love their animals. Oh, and did I mention that includes horses! Well, guess who’s votes you just lost? Can you Republicans in office not understand what your voting public are in favor of?? And here I am a conservative and can’t stand that my party is so clueless. I guess you can get voted in office, but you can’t get voted to become intelligent. Please people of Ok, vote new Republicans in that care about the life of an animal, as much as they care about their power and money. Believe me we are out here, conservatives that have real values.

    February 12, 2013
  • D Hamilton

    Disgusting, agree, greedy corrupt government .

    February 12, 2013
  • kathleen kriebel

    are you kidding me???….you know better about horse slaughter than New jersey or new mexico??? really oklahoma???…keep your disgusting state…

    February 12, 2013
  • Conny Phelps

    He lost his freaking mind..and why does he want people from out of State eating that meat? does he intent to kill them or just don’t give a crap about others?

    February 12, 2013
  • Valerie Wehmueller

    Sen. Mark Allen is an A- – Hole!!! Sorry, but it’s the truth. What in God’s name is wrong with people!!?? If they wouldn’t eat it, or feed it to their own families & friends, why should something this inhumane, disgusting & barbaric even be allowed to happen, for “someone else to eat”? America is really doing a great job of showing just how dumb, stupid, complacent, & indifferent we are. Great “role models” for the rest of this insane world! What I’d really like to know is this, why exactly is it that we, the “80%”, can not do anything to stop this animal abuse, even the idiotic round-ups/ “gathers”, of America’s wild horses & burros??? How long will it take for us to get riled up enough, & pissed off enough, to DO something!!

    February 12, 2013
  • The “Honorable” Senator must not be aware of what’s going on in Europe concerning horse meat these days.

    Besides that, when the new EU rules go into effect August 1, this year, they won’t be accepting ANY of our horses, let alone those with without even an ID.

    WHAT is your problem? There is NO money to be made on slaughtering AMERICAN HORSES.

    February 12, 2013
  • susan rudnicki

    Allen’s jowly mug makes me think he doesn’t miss too many meals! Maybe he needs a little less thinking about stomachs and profits and a bit more listening to the people of his state—not the ones standing to make money off this embarrassing debacle. He must not be aware of world wide news about the horse meat turning up in processed foods in the EU. Typical American self-absorbtion…

    February 12, 2013
  • Rita E. McKenzie

    Senator Mark Allen you and your like thinking OK. Senators should be KICKED OUT OF OFFICE for wanting to slaughter OK.’s WILD HORSES. They are part of our heritage and an important part of OK.. If you allow the horses to be slaughtered you all are NO BETTER THAN THE TRASH WE THROW OUT OR BURN!!!!!!! You all should be KICKED OUT OF WASHINGTON, D.C.

    February 12, 2013
  • Kathy Russell

    Maybe one day we will have politians that actually listen to the voice of the people. Not just those that slip them a few bucks. Another sell out. What a coward. Will never give OK a chance to make a buck off of me at any shows there. My business will be taken elsewhere.

    February 12, 2013
  • sherriey

    ya know! i find it very hard to believe that there are still some people out there that will defend the gov and try to make us smarter people believe that the gov really cares about horses….and i mean “horses” in general!
    when will they wake up and see that politicians only care about themselves and how much money can pad their hands?
    they all are liars and make me sick!

    February 13, 2013
  • Judith Keene

    This is horrible because it allows horses to be bought only from kill buyers and auctions, therefore increasing the amount of evil kill buyers out there! What ever are they going to do when the EU stops buying horsemeat from the USA? With all this big workup on tainted horsemeat being found in their food supplies in Europe, im sure it wont be long before they stop getting horses and horsemeat from this country!

    February 13, 2013
  • Pamela Williams

    Hmmm. I called every single one of those committee members and asked them NOT to support this legislation and NOT to let it out of committee. What do we do when lawmakers are impervious to public response? Flood local publications with letters to the editor and perhaps make follow-up calls to committee members asking them to provide the rationale for their votes. I say keep the pressure on and let them know that people are paying attention.

    Some of these lawmakers are hopeless, though. The remarks by fat-ass Allen demonstrate that he is a self-important narcissist who has neither the intellect nor the heart to care about anyone but himself and his old boys club. As some writer quipped a hundred years ago, “he would make an exquisite corpse.”

    February 13, 2013
  • Andie Guess

    Congrats you people for your intelligent responses- NOT! Seriously? Thank you Oklahoma for being intelligent enough to see the plight of American horses. I just wished these folks would take a look at what’s on their plate, that Taiwan and Russia won’t allow to be on their people’s plate. 90% of our beef is contaminated with drugs, so eat up, horse may be the only GOOD meat to eat!

    February 14, 2013
  • Jade Hawks

    Ah, Vickery Eckhoff! You are my SHERO when it comes to calling a spade a spade! LOL Standing ovation here!

    February 15, 2013
  • SHAME ON the so called leaders in Oklahoma!!!
    This horse slaughter issue is NOT about the unwanted horses it is GREED MONEY MONEY!!!!
    What is happening to this country???????????

    March 13, 2013