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Oklahoma’s Horse Slaughter Ban Dropped for Export Business

Oklahoma is on track to become the first state to lift its own ban on horse slaughter since the U.S. government removed its prohibition in 2012.

Four states, California, Illinois, Texas, and Oklahoma, have state bans on slaughtering horses for commercial purposes. The Oklahoma Legislature appears to be embracing a pair of bills that will end the slaughter ban while continuing to prohibit the sale of horsemeat for human consumption in the state.

The bills were each adopted in their house of origin and sent over to the opposite chamber by wide margins.

Senate Bill (SB) 375 revokes a 1963 flat ban on the sale of horsemeat in Oklahoma by allowing horsemeat to be “exported internationally.” Horse sold for slaughter must be sold through livestock auctions and purchased by a livestock dealer.

House Bill (HB) 1999 would allow horses to be slaughtered in Oklahoma, but continue the existing domestic ban on sales of horsemeat for human consumption.

The exported product would have to be clearly labeled as “horsemeat.”

SB-375 passed out of the Oklahoma Senate 38-6 and HB-1999 cleared the House by a vote of 82-14. The chambers are now working on their opposites bills.

The first sign that Oklahoma might change its mind about horse slaughter came in 2010 when the Legislature sent a resolution to Congress, opposing federal bills prohibiting the transport or processing of horses for human consumption.

Abandonments of aging and starving horses have sharply increased in Oklahoma and other western states since last horse packinghouse closed more than seven years ago.

Congress not allowing USDA to do any equine inspections at slaughter was how the national ban was imposed. Now that the prohibition has been lifted, USDA inspection services can again be offered at equine slaughter operations.

An undetermined number of applications for equine inspection services are believed to be pending at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The Oklahoma Legislature, which was called to attention Feb. 4, does not adjourn until late May.

© Food Safety News
  • “Abandonments of aging and starving horses have sharply increased in
    Oklahoma and other western states since last horse packinghouse closed
    more than seven years ago.”

    This is not true we all know that over breeding is the number one problem and of course the wild ones have to go to make room for big oil, welfare ranchers and to put more money into the pockets of our corrupt government! of our land.

    I am tired of being
    asked to pretend that Stupid is a virtue.

    • Glow Amy

      Yes , and the polititions  act like because they say its for the unwanted horses  its so. How dare we try to get them to respond to facts. Horse slaughter has nothing to do with unwanted horses.It is about money .  First off it is IMPOSSIBLE that reopening american horse slaughtor plants can be a solution. The closing of any US slaughtor plants can have NO CONECTION with any present horse situation. Because horse slaughtor has  never ended. There are just as many horses slaughtered now as when before the US.horse slaughter plants closed. IT as made ABSOLUTLY NO DIFFRENSE in the amount of horses being slaughtered. There just are being shipped out of the country to be slaughtered. And NOT ONE more horse would have been slaughtered even if 10 horse slaughter plants  had been opened in the U.S..  Sense the  horse slaughter business is driven by the by the law of supply and demand like any other business is :  The  horse slaughter kill buyers do not bye any more horses then what they have contracts for. And these contracts are based on the horse meat market demand. And the demand is already being meant. With these given facts; Pro horse slaughter people, PLEASE , try and explain how the closing of the US. slaughter plants can possibly have ANYTHING to do with the present  horse situation.NOTHING HAS CHANGED because of the closing of these plants. Any increase in unwanted horses was caused by the great economic downturn our country had which AFFECTED AND HURT ALL BUISNESSES.

  • GrampyNate

    It’s about time.  “Humane” people often fall into the trap of thinking that because something is esthetically acceptable to them–being so humane and all–that it is therefore the best thing to do for the animal, hence the ban on horse slaughter.

    But then the old, feeble horses pile up on the pastures and get skinnier and skinnier, no one wanting to put them down (kill thim “nicely”) because disposal becomes so costly and the vet visit costs are out of sight for an animal that is then basically a total loss.

    This is what “city” people do to country people in their all-knowing ignorance.

    • susanrudnicki

      ” City People” is your pejorative to try to insult people who think, Mr Grampy..    I think, and I am a Nebraska native, from Loup County.   What this story and you are failing to recognize is, the slaughter plants DON’T WANT those old, skinny horses and according to USDA data from when slaughter was still operating in the US, 90% of the horses were young and in good flesh.   Second,  the vast majority of horses from the US are treated with drugs BANNED for use in food animals, with NO allowable withdrawal period, and that have been demonstrated to cause cancer and blood dyscrasias in humans.   Look up the issue of Phenylbutazone, Ms Nestle and Mr GrampyNate—it was experimentally used for humans going back to 1949 but caused aplastic anemia and other severe health effects, so was pulled from the market.   This drug is used widely for anti-inflammatory and pain control in equines, and remains in the body of the horse FOR LIFE.   Then, there are wormers, hormones, steroids and other drugs disallowed in human food sources.          Even if you care not a whit for the inhumane sickness of the reality of horse abattoirs (also documented through FOIA from the USDA)   the public health menace is real.   Get informed and educated, both of you.

    • hoofandpick

       GrampyNate,
      I have a novel solution for your dilemma..Don’t own horses if you can’t afford to care for them, feed them or humanely euthanizing them by calling the vet.

      The entire reason why you see skinny horses (called abuse and neglect which is a crime in every state) is because those horse owners don’t send their horses to slaughter.

    •  Can you country people afford 50 cents for a bullet to the head .Im a country person and I could even afford that.  Don’t have to bury  them then  either as nothing in them toxic to the coyotes and other scavengers that dispense of the body in a month’s time. 

    • Excuse me, but do you own horses? Have you  EVER  owned horses? I doubt it. Well, I have – for 35 years. I’ve also lived in rural Indiana for over 20 years and I’ve yet to see even ONE instance of a field piled with old skinny horses. And to say that rural people would do this to keep from spending the money it takes for euthanasia and disposal is nothing short of outrageous! Besides, it does NOT cost that much, vet and all. Besides, this is the responsibility one takes on when they opt to acquire a horse or any other animal.

      Sure glad you don’t own horses. And, what city do you live in now? I know you aren’t really rural or you wouldn’t have posted such nonsense in the first place.

    • Those horses won’t qualify for USDA inspection and will still be shipped to Mexico. This isn’t about euthanizing horses. This is about building an industry for breeding horses for the purposes of butchering. Don’t be fooled. It also only costs $50 more to euthanize and dispose of a horse than a large dog. Check the facts.

      http://www.animalallianceok.org/action-alert-dont-allow-horse-slaughter-oklahoma/ 

  • Glow Amy

     The ONLY affect the slaughter markets have on this is they make it  MUCH HARDER  for horses rescues to be able to take someones unwanted horse and later find them a home . Because  horse rescues  have for years been spending  so much   money on having to out bid and BYE horses bound for slaughter.And them find THEM a home. And that solved nothing.As there is still a profet and demand for the meat market so even MORE horses will be bred.The rescues could very likely handle the amount of unwanted horses that were GIVEN to them by owners that no longer wanted them if they didn’t have to be endlessly spending there resources in trying to save horses from the slaughter market and have to compete with  the kill Byers BYING them. And the horse market already had built in to it the 130,000 excess horses that are  sold to slaughter every year. That many excess horses were already PURPUSLY being proposed  to  also fill the money making slaughter market The slaughter market does nothing to reduce this. Because  the horse meat market does not have a increase in  demand. Because the demand for horse meat is the  same.  The number of horses sold to slaughter  is the same.  For over  50 years  our  country already had built in to it the production of  the access number of horses   needed to  fill the slaughter market,It can not absorb any more simply because we have  a economic turn down  on top of hay prises soaring higher. The pro slaughter people have no explanations for any of this . BECAUSE THERE IS NONE.        

  • Glow Amy

                                   Horse slaughter is not a solution for unwanted horses. It is a   major CAUSE of (so called )unwanted horses. An obvious main solution to excess and unwanted horses is to stop breading 130,000 to many horses every year that  are sold FOR PROFIT to slaughter every year. But as long as there is a profitable market in horse slaughter it doesn’t just  encourage  the over breeding  of horses, it GARRENTEIS it. It creates a endless cycle of over breeding to fill the profitable horse slaughter market.  92% of horses slaughtered are  young, sound, healthy,and in good condition. As all meat industry’s, the horse  Kill buyers  DO NOT WANT bye old and lame horses. It has NOTHING to do with old, starved, unwanted or injured horses. And the WORSE thing is the pro  horse slaughter people KNOW all of this!                                                 As in  ANY business. If there is a market and money to be made for a product. There is going to be enough of that product produced to fill that profitable market. If fresh oranges are the equivalent of horses for LIVE human use.  And orange juice is the equivalent of horses sold for slaughter.There are going to be enough oranges grown to fill the profitable market for both fresh oranges and orange juice. If there is a cattle meat market demand for 2 million cattle a year.There is going to be that many cattle raised. If it increased to 5 million cattle a year, there would soon be 5 million cattle a year raised.And if the horse meat demand raised from the present 130,000 to 500,00.There would soon be 500,000 so called unwanted excess horses bred a year.  But these and other profitable businesses  don’t try and make the outrageous claim that there profitable product is produced because it is necessary because of unwanted oranges or unwanted cattle, as the horse slaughter proponents do.

  • Stichtag

    GrampyNate’s high on bute…

  • SmokeysDad

    I fear a conspiracy may be afoot.  A large portion of the wild horses our BLM has removed from their rightful range are now warehoused in Oklahoma.  It is estimated that near 50,000 (more than double that remain free) live in captivity on government leased ranches and there is literally no more room at the ‘inn’.  A few years back congress was duped into passing the Burn’s Amendment to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act written by Senator Conrad Burns at the coercion of Sen. Harry Reid.  This allowed that our wild horses, although they were protected by law, could in fact be sold and forgotten laying the ground work to allow the horses to be slaughtered.

    I feel Oklahoma’s government may have a hidden agenda whereby the BLM can erase 40 years of mismanagement by committing mass murder or our wild horses and burros.  What they are banking on is asking forgiveness rather than permission hence the speed of ramrodding this legislation through.  They want to get it over and done before the entire country wakes up to the holocaust they will have committed.

    One representative, who’s family owns and auction house, Skye McNeil is looking forward to padding her checkbook because the horses will have to be sold through auction to livestock buyers to help distance the BLM from the crime.  Collusion, racketeering, whatever you wish to call it I fear the target is not the old, skinny nags but in fact our Icons of the American West who have fallen victim to one of the most sinister wars of cruelty and abuse in the history of our country. 

  • Arla Ruggles

    I was born and raised in rural Nevada — it doesn’t GET any more “country” than this. I came from agricultural people, and horses have been a part of my family’s history in the US since the 1700’s. I own horses. I spend a tremendous amount of time on the range, documenting wild horses and their habitat …… NOT a city slicker.

    Horse slaughter is not a viable option to the overpopulation of domestic horses; nor will it solve the (fabricated) over-population of wild horses on the western range.   Wild horses are a multi-million dollar per year industry, with the Cattlemen’s Association being the centrally motivating force.  As a westerner, and increasingly well-informed observer of BLM antics on OUR public lands, I must tell you that slaughtering the 50,000 captive wild horses that now enjoy the support of YOUR tax dollars, will not end that wasted expense; it will INCREASE it …. because they will butcher these horses, and continue to bring in more from the range. 

    Contrary to popular opinion in the wild horse advocacy community,  I don’t believe their intention is to completely eradicate the few remaining herds; they want to CONTINUE making millions and millions of dollars every year from “gathering”, transport, and maintenance in long-term holding …. Here, I feel compelled to point out the MOST of those dollars go to enterprises in the midwest, and benefit the residents of western states NOT AT ALL. 

    If BLM wanted to succeed at their mission (which is supposed to be managing the herds “WHERE THEY NOW EXIST” (1971) ), they COULD have.   They have not followed through with application of population control measures that could reduce the numbers of new horses on the range. Why not?  Because there is not profit in that.  They want to continue HARVESTING wild horses, as they have been doing since the late 1970’s

    Now, caught with their hands in the till, selling Congressionally-protected mustangs to known kill-buyers for transport to Mexican slaughterhouses …. they want to cover their crimes and send the “excess” animals to a legally approved (tax-payer supported) industry within the US. 

    If slaughter would really eradicate the overpopulation of horses, it would be a self-defeating enterprise.

  • BerksBound

    Interesting we have never, ever seen citations of official numbers of said “abandonments of horses”.

    Why is that?

    Because the actual numbers would prove it’s a minor problem and not enough to remotely justify a slaughterhouse. Animal People, an organization that tracks official horses abandoned or seized for neglect from each state, has seen those numbers vary from about 1,200 to 2,300 per year. Not even enough to keep a single slaughterhouse in business for more than a couple of weeks!! And those horses usually go to humane agencies and rescues who will not release them to slaughter.

    Additionally, the highest number of neglect cases in the U.S. was in 1996… when we were slaughtering record numbers of horses. Doh! And last year, there was a massive neglect case in Montana, – a state which houses one of the largest feedlots for slaughterbound horses headed over the border to an Alberta slaughterhouse. And Alberta has lots of neglect cases also.

    Media simply needs to check the validity of these completely baseless statements before they give ink to printing them.

  • Oklahoma legislators seem completely oblivious to the rising outrage in Europe and now, Asia, over unregulated and unapproved inclusion of horsemeat in processed food products.  Russia has already banned the import of ALL American meat, the EU is initiating much more stringent regs on all imported foods, including the “Passport” which will require complete documentation of all meat — including horse.Abandoned horses will not meet the import requirements, because they will have no documentation.Performance horses won’t meet the requirements, because they are KNOWN to be administered a plethora of pharmaceuticals not suitable for human – or animal – consumption.Wild horses are vaccinated upon roundup. They would not be eligible.

    Horse blood is banned from use in fertilizer, and has not been used in pet foods since the 1970’s because it was proven to be lethal in certain breeds of dogs (notably stock dogs like collies).If we aren’t willing to eat it ourselves, or feed it to our pets or our other food animals; if it is not fit to be poured on crops as fertilizer … where does the US get OFF, trying to pawn off our toxic waste on foreign consumers?

  • Abandonment has increased because wages have not kept pace with the cost of living, and because drought and high gasoline prices have driven up the price of hay and fodder.  Breeders have continued to produce many thousands of horses that there is no market for.

  • Arla Ruggles

    Nevermind.

  • Glow Amy

       As in  ANY business. If there is a market and money to be made for a product. There is going to be enough of that product produced to fill that profitable market. If fresh oranges are the equivalent of horses for LIVE human use.  And orange juice is the equivalent of horses sold for slaughter.There are going to be enough oranges grown to fill the profitable market for both fresh oranges and orange juice. If there is a cattle meat market demand for 2 million cattle a year.There is going to be that many cattle raised. If it increased to 5 million cattle a year, there would soon be 5 million cattle a year raised.And if the horse meat demand raised from the present 130,000 to 500,00.There would soon be 500,000 so called unwanted excess horses bred a year.  But these and other profitable businesses  don’t try and make the outrageous claim that there profitable product is produced because it is necessary because of unwanted oranges or unwanted cattle, as the horse slaughter proponents do

  • Dear Senate Members,

    The UK announced today they are overhauling the equine passport system.
    Since United States has nothing in place for a tracking system like this, how do
    you all propose getting this set up. It will involve the USDA which is facing
    big budget cuts for their inspection program as well as create an economical
    hardship on current horse owners. There is no local market for your horse meat
    without this system in place.

    Do you really think there would be enough horses out there that haven’t
    been tainted with Phenylbutazone (BUTE) to give you enough horses to make this
    feasible? You won’t be able to slaughter the race horses or the performance
    horses anymore. Well, you could but you will just have to pile them up or bury
    them somewhere since you can’t put them into the food chain as you
    desire.

    A horse that is alive brings in much more economic value to our state then
    a dead horse. If you stop kill buyers, people like me would be more apt to
    bring in horses, train them, rehabilitate them and find them a home. At this
    time, the market for people like me to rehome horses is completely frozen. I am
    scared to death to put a horse out there after taking my time training it only
    to have it end up at slaughter. Most horse trainers build such a bond with
    their animal it is heartbreaking to have that happen. It’s too easy for a good
    horse to get into the slaughter pipeline now as it is much less if there was a
    slaughter plant in my state. I work for a living and can’t camp down at the
    slaughter plant looking for one of my horses…..

    Please think the entire plan through before you set Oklahoma up for a
    lawsuit which is currently happening against the USDA for not moving on the
    licensing permits for a horse slaughter plant. VOTE AGAINST SB375.

    Thank you
    Jennifer Schroeder
    Piedmont Oklahoma
    Registered VOTER

    SOURCE: http://www.horseandcountry.tv/news/2013/02/24/defra-overhaul-equine-passport-system

    Defra to overhaul equine passport system |
    Horse and Country TV http://www.horseandcountry.tv
    In
    light of the ongoing horse meat scandal, the government has announced plans to
    overhaul the current equine passport system in order to safeguard the food chain
    and provide greater protection for horses.

  • OK residents- because of your elected officials you will no longer be the Horse Show State- but the Horse Slaughter State. You will have the brutal treatment and slaughter of thousands of young, healthy horses on your conscience. You will have the slaughterhose in your back yard- hope you like the smell of blood and the whinnies of fright as horses are brutally killed. Hope the next time you cheer your favorite horse to a win, cry at the next movie with a horse doing some heroic deed, or your child wanting a pony, that it doesnt hit you that the people you elected lied about what’s really going on to butcher Fury, Flicka, Wildfire, Mine That Bird, Silver, Scout, need I go on!!!! It’s not old crippled horses that are murdered, but young healthy ones, and babies! What a disgrace to your state!!!!!!

  • Oginikwe

    Once this starts, horse owners had better lock their animals in at night.  I lived in Wisconsin in the 1970s when thieves would sweep through the counties at night stealing horses our out of their pastures, transport the animals into northern Illinois, and the horses would be processed in a manner of hours.    Yes, there was supposed to be paperwork–that’s easily falsified.

  • I have a friend that does this….22 between eyes and ears….drag them to them to the pump derrick….buzzards and coyotes take care of the rest….this makes me sad too.

  • I live in Canada, where 76%+  of the Canadian PUBLIC want this disgraceful industry BANNED. There is a very large movement in Canada by the PUBLIC to ban this BARBARIC industry, that has been confirmed as seedy, corrupt and unethical.We have SHAMEFULLY become the Horse slaughter capitol of the world, in fact the very  politicans who supported this disgrace can not even be found when they may  have to address what they are responsible for. No compassionate person could possibly support the inhumanity of the feedlots , transport conditions, and worse, disturbing slaughter practice.  We are also seen as exporting drug tainted meat to OTHERS, with no concern for those who consume it. I truly hope the PUBLIC in Oklahoma stop what as seen as BARBARIC, UNETHICAL, and CRUEL.
    As a civilized society lets work together to stop this insanity.