Oklahoma lawmakers complain about renewed ban on horse slaughter

Rep. Markwayne Mullin and Sen. Jim Inhofe say Congress is hurting horses and business with provision to reinstate ban.
by Chris Casteel Published: January 17, 2014
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Two Oklahoma lawmakers are complaining that the $1.1 trillion bill to fund the federal government through September would once again ban domestic horse slaughter.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, and Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said the provision that effectively reinstates the ban was an attack on the horse processing industry.

However, there is no horse processing industry in the United States.

Beginning in 2006, Congress effectively shut down what was left of the industry by prohibiting the U.S. Department of Agriculture from funding inspections of plants that slaughter horses.

That provision was renewed each year until 2011, when lawmakers allowed it to lapse.

Since 2011, applications in a few states for horse slaughter facilities have gotten bogged down by state objections and lawsuits. Oklahoma made it legal last year to slaughter horses in the state, but one potential plant operator dropped his effort to get a license.

The House and Senate last year renewed the ban on inspection funds, and that renewal was included in the bill that cleared the House on Wednesday and the Senate on Thurday.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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