Oklahoma Senate Passes Controversial Horse Slaughter Bill

Tuesday, March 26th 2013, 9:43 pm
By: News 9

Senate members give the green light to a highly controversial horse slaughter bill, now horse lovers across the state are stomping mad.

This highly controversial horse slaughter bill has gotten so contentious, death threats have been personally made to Rep. Skye McNiel. Governor Fallin's office says she is "inclined" to sign the measure but she still has to review it.

3/26/2013 Related Story: Aide: Fallin 'Inclined' To Sign Slaughter Bill

"It doesn't set well with me, and it doesn't set well with a lot of people I know," said horse advocate, Ray Betts.

Betts is one of many horse lovers against horse slaughtering in Oklahoma. The bill has hit a soft spot with horse advocates across the state since it was first introduced. Both the House and Senate have passed bills this session that would end Oklahoma's 50-year ban on the slaughtering of horses.

"If Gov. Fallin signs this bill, I think she's going to be doing the people in the state of Oklahoma a great disservice," Betts said.

"I had to vote no," Sen. Al McAffery said.

"I'm just shocked there's a bill out there like this," Sen. Randy Bass said.

McAffery and Bass were two out of 14 who opposed the bill. 32 others though were in favor.

"The killing of the horses is so brutal, I don't care whether it's in Oklahoma, or it's in Mexico where they take them," Bass said.

Bass says there's nothing in the bill that regulates how a horse would be killed, or even explains when it's safe to consume the meat. There's concerns about certain medications given to a horse throughout its life that could be dangerous if eaten.

"I would not want my children to eat horsemeat that has been injected," McAffery said.

"There's other uses for the horses, other than just taking them to the slaughter house," Bass said.

Representative Skye McNiel released the following statement,

"I am very pleased with the support of my colleagues in the Oklahoma Senate. I have said repeatedly that when all the facts regarding this issue are on the table and our lawmakers are educated on this issue, they will find that this bill is a much more humane way to treat these animals, to manage the population and to control the neglect that we are seeing when irresponsible owners decide they can no longer take care of their horses. We have a broad, bipartisan level of support for this bill, especially among rural Oklahomans who see this problem up close. I hope Gov. Fallin will support this measure when it arrives at her desk."

"I think cooler heads would have prevailed if we had just sat down and we had come to a consensus on this situation," Betts said.

Oklahoma public opinion pollster, SoonerPoll.com wants Governor Fallin to consider its poll results before signing the bill. According to them, 66-percent of likely Oklahoma voters oppose the legislation.