BY World's Editorials Writers
Saturday, February 23, 2013
2/23/13 at 7:11 AM
Oklahomans are used to their Legislature taking actions they don’t like.
But few measures would prove as unpopular,
we believe, as the pair that
would allow horse slaughterhouses
in the state.
Legislation shouldn’t necessarily
be a popularity contest, but in this
case, the people’s voice should be
heeded. There are many good reasons
for the extensive opposition to these
facilities: Slaughter is not the humane,
compassionate option its advocates
keep painting it as, and there
are significant negative consequences
to such facilities as well.
But lawmakers seem intent on
shoving this abomination on some
community that likely won’t have
much say in where it goes or how
it’s operated. While other states and
communities have resisted such
plans, Oklahoma leaders are welcoming
them with open arms, paving the
way for the state to be the slaughterhouse
for the nation.
The pro-slaughter advocates insist
such a facility is necessary to deal with
the abandoned, neglected and ailing
horses. But credible estimates indicate
that the vast majority — around 90 percent
— of the American horses slaughtered
outside the U.S. are healthy and
relatively young, which puts to rest
the notion this is a compassionate exercise.
And, there are alternatives for
dealing with unwanted horses other
than commercial slaughter.
The American cities that recently
had to endure the consequences of
nearby slaughterhouses — unending
odor, environmental problems,
legal battles, stifled economic development,
and the constant, unnerving
cries of terrified horses — fought
for years to be rid of them. Would a
new facility be any better for a community?
Highly doubtful. Would it be
overseen and monitored adequately?
There are many reasons to keep
these facilities banned and really only
one reason to support them: money.
Why would our leaders choose the
most objectionable alternative for
disposing of horses? (Hint: see previous
Our only hope is that Gov. Mary
Fallin understands the potential impact.
If not, it will be up to the people.
A horse stands in a snow-dusted field in Owasso. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World file