Oklahoma: Horse-slaughter capital of the U.S.?
BY World's Editorials Writers
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
2/12/13 at 7:59 AM
Oklahoma has a bad enough reputation without turning the state into the horse-slaughter capital of the nation. Let's hope lawmakers have enough sense to conclude that a measure allowing commercial horse slaughter in Oklahoma is a bad idea on several levels.
Two bills addressing horse slaughter are making their way through the Legislature. House Bill 1999, offered by Rep. Skye McNiel, R-Bristow, would allow the slaughter of horses within the state for export outside the state. Another bill, Senate Bill 375, by Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, would eliminate the ban on the sale of horse meat in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma could become the only state in the country with such a facility, if legislation allowing one to be built is approved. Several other states also are looking at similar measures.
McNeil said a slaughter facility would allow for a humane end for horses that now end up abused, abandoned, neglected and starving.
"We just have an overpopulation of them right now, and, unfortunately, there's just no end for them. They just end up getting starved and abused," said McNiel, whose family is in the horse business. "I've seen it first-hand."
But animal-welfare advocates have a much different view. Cynthia Armstrong, state director of the Humane Society of the United States, says the practice is "fraught with terror, pain and suffering."
"We owe our horses a more humane and dignified end than that," she said.
Slaughter facilities have caused problems in other states, leading to the closure of all of them in recent years. In Kaufman, Texas, the City Council voted to shut down a slaughterhouse there after blood flowing into the city sewer system backed up into people's homes.
Because these facilities provide low wages to workers, it can't be argued they would provide a significant economic boost. And who would want to locate anywhere near a horse slaughterhouse?
If there is a problem with disposing of aged, sick or unwanted horses, the answer is not to make Oklahoma the nation's equine slaughterhouse.
Original Print Headline: Horse slaughter