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Oklahoma plant is one of six to list horses as animals to be slaughtered

A slaughterhouse in rural McClain County is one of only a handful of firms in the country to list horses as animals to be slaughtered on an inspection application filed with the USDA last year, The Oklahoman has learned.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: March 15, 2013 at 9:39 pm •  Published: March 16, 2013

A slaughterhouse in rural McClain County is one of only six companies in the nation that have applied with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to slaughter horses.

An inspection application was filled out in May 2012 by Ahsan Amil, owner of Washington-based Oklahoma Meat Co.

Amil also indicated on the application that beef, sheep and goats would be slaughtered at the facility, records show.

The slaughtering of horses is not allowed in Oklahoma, but there are two measures circulating through the state Legislature that would overturn a 50-year-old ban on the practice. A federal ban on horse slaughter expired in November 2011.

Amil said he had no plans to personally slaughter horses at the facility in Washington but that two individuals interested in purchasing the plant did.

“They were trying to lease the place ... with an option to buy,” he said. “They wanted to know what it would take ... to get permission from the USDA for this plant.”

Amil said one of the interested buyers was Sue Wallis, a well-known figure in the national horse slaughter debate and a state representative from Wyoming. He said the other was Darrell Cruea, former secretary of the South Dakota Department of Agriculture.

“Nothing happened, really,” he said. “Nobody came to inspect the plant and, in the meantime, the deals fell through. They couldn't come up with a contract or something ... so it all stopped.”

Amil said the plant he owns in Washington “is a very small business.”

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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