Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Editorial: Horse slaughter foes ignored

By World's Editorials Writers

Related Story: Horse slaughter bill likely to get Fallin's support

For some inexplicable reason, Oklahoma leaders seem determined to allow horse slaughter in the state, despite strong and vocal opposition. Long-time political observers cannot remember another issue on which political leadership and rank-and-file voters were so far apart. What's going on here?

Some politicians keep dismissing the opposition to horse slaughter as ignorant urbanites influenced by out-of-state interests. But recent SoonerPoll findings show that's not the case at all.

According to the scientific poll, a majority - 66 percent - of likely state voters opposes passage of a horse-slaughter measure. Of those who oppose, 88 percent strongly oppose it.

A majority of rural respondents - 65.1 percent - opposes horse slaughter, according to the poll. In the Tulsa region, there was 69.6 percent opposition, and in the Oklahoma City region, 64.3 percent.

According to the poll, significant majorities of all political parties are opposed: 72.5 percent of independents; 67.6 percent of Democrats and 63.4 percent of Republicans.

The opposition grew even higher when respondents were asked their views on having a slaughterhouse in their community: 72.3 percent opposed a nearby slaughterhouse, with 91.9 percent strongly opposed.

But lawmakers and now even Gov. Mary Fallin have signed on to this controversial, unwanted proposition, purportedly because it provides a "humane" solution to a problem - overpopulation and unwanted animals - that experience shows can be resolved through other means.

Perhaps they should enjoy this term of office while they can, because it might be their last. The poll also showed more than 54 percent of likely voters won't vote to send them back to office if they vote in favor of horse slaughter.

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