According to a news article, “Oklahoma’s 50-year-old ban on horse slaughtering was lifted [recently] when the governor signed a new law that will allow facilities to process and export horse meat….”
The article includes a comment by the governor, “In Oklahoma, as in other states, abuse is tragically common among horses that are reaching the end of their lives.” Instead of sending these animals to slaughter in foreign countries, the governor believes a slaughtering plant in Oklahoma would be a far more humane way to dispose of these animals. Of course, if we had stricter animal abuse laws and if those laws were routinely implemented, possibly we wouldn’t have abuse that is “common among horses that are reaching the end of their natural lives.” We seem to want to solve the result of a problem—too many horses and not enough good owners, rather than the root of the problem—animal abuse.
On the federal level, there has been a bill introduced that would ban just exactly what Oklahoma is about to do. The Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013 expressly forbids “the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts in interstate or foreign commerce for purposes of human consumption….”
Take Action: Residents of Oklahoma, contact your legislators and governor to express your displeasure at their solution to the excess horse population in your state. Residents of other states where legislation similar to Oklahoma’s is being considered, contact your legislators and let them know slaughtering horses is not the answer to the over abundance of unwanted animals.
The Honorable Mary Fallin
Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 212
Oklahoma City, OK 73105