Oklahoma Senate committee passes horse slaughter bill

The measure, which would allow the slaughter of horses in Oklahoma, received no opposing votes from the nine committee members. It could be heard by the full Senate as early as next week.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: March 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm •  Published: March 18, 2013
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It took all of one minute for a Senate committee Monday to approve a bill that would allow the slaughter of horses in Oklahoma.

The Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Committee voted 9-0 to pass House Bill 1999. The measure could be taken up by the full Senate as early as next week, said Sen. Eddie Fields, R-Wynona, the measure's Senate sponsor.

Fields said he believes HB 1999 will win Senate approval and that Gov. Mary Fallin will sign the bill into law. Fallin has a policy of not commenting on legislation until it reaches her.

Committee members asked no questions and didn't debate the bill. Several people opposed to horse slaughter attended the meeting but were not recognized to speak.

“I think it's cruel,” said Chrissie Ward, of the Newcastle-Tuttle area, after the meeting. “A second reason is the meat is very toxic.”

Fields, who is chairman of the committee, said no one asked in advance to speak.

“Nobody called,” he said. “They say that their opinion's not heard, but you've got to go to through the protocol to be able to be heard.”

Ward, who owns thoroughbreds, said most horses going to slaughter won't be old, but instead younger horses that professional breeders don't want because they have certain defects.