When Oklahoma lifted its ban on horse slaughter this year, opponents insisted the legislation was designed to benefit individuals wanting to open a horse slaughter plant locally. Instead, the nation’s first horse slaughter plant will open, as predicted when the slaughter bill was approved, in New Mexico.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has confirmed a plant in that state will open unless Congress reinstates a ban on horse slaughter. This development will likely reduce any drive for a horse plant in Oklahoma.
Interested investors will want to monitor the New Mexico plant’s experience first. Will protesters impede functional operation of the plant? Will frivolous lawsuits bombard the plant’s owners? And how much market demand will there actually be for horse slaughter (although it’s clear plants in Mexico and Canada are staying busy)?
Having the chance to let someone else go first in this arena is not a bad thing for Oklahoma.