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Oklahoma officials looking into alleged horse violations

A criminal investigation is under way into fraudulent veterinary health forms being used to transport horses through Oklahoma, the state's secretary of agriculture says. The state's multicounty grand jury is said to be investigating.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: March 26, 2013 at 11:51 pm •  Published: March 26, 2013
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Oklahoma agriculture officials confirmed Tuesday they are aware of allegations that some involved in the transport of horses to the state were using fraudulent veterinary health forms.

Agriculture Secretary Jim Reese said officials with the state Agriculture, Food and Forestry Department have not responded publicly sooner because the matter is being investigated by the state's multicounty grand jury.

“We are aware of the complaints,” Reese said.

“We have chosen not to interrupt that investigation while it was going on.”

Reese said information was turned over to the state attorney general's office.

The investigation, he said, is continuing into allegations of stolen property, concealing stolen property, transporting stolen property across state lines and other crimes.

An animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, criticized the state agency Tuesday for failing to act on evidence it presented that involved apparent fraudulent veterinary health forms in the transport of horses.

The horses were transported across state lines from Iowa through Kansas and Missouri, into Oklahoma, and finally to Texas.

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