With legislation that would allow the slaughter of horses in Oklahoma heading down the stretch, opponents mounted up last-minute efforts Sunday to rein in the legislation's momentum.
Speakers criticized the legislation during a news conference at a horse ranch in northeastern Oklahoma City and released poll results showing a majority of Oklahomans oppose the two measures that would overturn a 50-year ban on horse slaughter.
The Senate is expected to vote early this week on House Bill 1999, which would allow horse slaughter but would continue the existing ban on the sale of horse meat for consumption in the state.
A House of Representatives committee is scheduled Wednesday to hear Senate Bill 375, which would revoke the state's 1963 law banning the sale of horse meat and would end the prohibition on horse slaughtering or the sale of horse meat.
Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, said he expects HB 1999 will win Senate approval.
“If you fully understand what they're doing, it's humane, it's better off for the horses,” Bingman said last week.
If it passes without any amendments being added, it would go the governor for her consideration.
Gov. Mary Fallin has a policy of not commenting on whether she will support legislation until she has an opportunity to review the final version.
Paula Bacon, who served as mayor of Kaufman, Texas, when a horse processing plant was operating in her community, talked Sunday about the environmental dangers and the stigma that Oklahoma would face if a similar plant operated in the state.
She said the city filed legal action against the operators of the plant; still, she said the plant caused environmental and economic havoc in her community until it closed in 2007.
“It stigmatizes your community,” she said. “Good development does not want to come there.
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