Horse slaughter bills advance in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Senate and the state House of Representatives both approved measures that would allow the slaughter of horses in the state.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: February 20, 2013
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Horses are being transported now to Mexico, where they face a violent death, said Rep. Don Armes, R-Faxon. Armes, who complained about out-of-state groups pressuring lawmakers to vote against the bill, said workers slaughter horses in Mexico by cutting their spinal cord several times.

“They don't shock them, they don't put a bullet through their brain,” he said. “Then they open the box and out stumbles that horse and that horse falls in a heap on the ground. Is that humane?

“The do-gooders in this world that have tried to make it better for these beautiful horses that we all love … have done something very bad by trying to do good,” Armes said. “They have pushed horse slaughter to Mexico.”

Armstrong said horse meat is not safe for human consumption, saying horses receive a long list of medications and other substances that are considered toxic. She also said the method in which horses were killed in the three American plants for slaughter was not humane.

McNiel said People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal rights organization, reversed its opposition to horse slaughter plants in the United States in 2011, saying domestic horse slaughter facilities are preferable to shipping horses to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.

Dank, who at one time raised race horses, said a horse slaughter plant in Oklahoma would send a wrong message about the state.

“I don't think it sends the right message as far our economic development,” he said. “I don't want people to think of Oklahoma as the place where you slaughter your horses.”