John Murrell, a thoroughbred horse owner and breeder and a former board member of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, talked of the inhumane treatment horses face being taken to processing plants and the cruel fate that awaits them when they arrive.
“Our horses deserve a much kinder end to their life … than to be sent to a horrific, terrible scary death at a slaughterhouse,” said Murrell, of Dallas.
“We as Americans do not raise horses for food. The slaughter process is cruel and inhumane. From the time the horses arrive at the livestock auction and during their transport to slaughter, which in many cases can be horrific and lengthy, the horses endure unspeakable atrocities, including multiple injuries.”
Offering an option
Mike Spradling, president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, said a processing plant is an alternative for horse owners who can't afford them and are now turning them out on roads, abandoning them on other people's pastures or simply allowing them to starve.
Contacted Sunday, Spradling said a processing plant is only an option for horse owners.
He said he expected about one third of Oklahoma horse owners would sell their unwanted horses to the plant.
“This is a private property rights issue,” said Spradling, of Tulsa. “Those are our animals.
“We are in the business of producing food and fiber,” Spradling said. “Is it better just to dispose of the animal, euthanize it and put it in a hole … or if there is an option for it ... to go to humans?
Poll finds voter opposition
to horse slaughter proposal
Bill Shapard, chief executive officer of Sooner