Last month, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law House Bill 1999, which continues the existing ban on the sale of horse meat for human consumption in the state but allows regulated horse slaughter under certain conditions. The new law reverses the state’s 50-year old ban on horse slaughter for human consumption.
In 2007, a combination of legislation and court decisions led to the closing of the last remaining horse processing plants in Texas and Illinois. Last year Congress passed legislation that did not specifically deny the USDA funding to carry out inspections and as a result, plant developments have been proposed in several states.
In a written statement, Governor Fallin said she signed the legislation in part due to the neglect of aged horses and the shipping of animals to foreign plants for slaughter “where they are processed in potentially inhumane conditions that are not regulated by the U.S. Government.” She added, “Those of us who care about the wellbeing of horses cannot be satisfied with a status quo that encourages abuse and neglect, or that rewards the potentially inhumane slaughter of animals in foreign countries.”
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