Monday, March 25, 2013

Fallin supports making horse slaughter legal

Gov. Mary Fallin has offered general support for a bill to legalize horse slaughter in the state.

“I think it’s a bill I can support,” Fallin told the Oklahoma Farm Report, a syndicated radio agriculture report, concerning House Bill 1999.

The bill, currently awaiting consideration by the state Senate, would strike a decades-own state prohibition of horse slaughter but would continue the ban of horse meat sales for domestic consumption.

The meat would be exported outside the United States, under the proposal, which Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, has predicted could be on the governor’s desk this week.

Speaking after an appearance at the Oklahoma Youth Expo, Fallin said: “It is important that we have a humane way to be able to take care of abandoned horses and those that are getting older and that have been turned out and abandoned in our state. We’re glad we’ve been able to see some legislation going through that will help address that issue.”

Fallin said horse slaughter is “certainly an issue I know is very important to people in the agricultural sector and one that’s had a lot of debate in the state of Oklahoma.”

After Fallin spoke, a statewide poll from of 452 likely voters was released showing strong voter opposition to the horse slaughter proposal.

The scientific telephone survey asked respondents for their position on HB 1999 and the similarly worded Senate Bill 375. Respondents were asked about the two measures near the beginning of the survey and again at the end after they had been asked a series of questions about claims made by supporters and opponents of HB 1999.

At the beginning, 53 percent strongly opposed HB 1999 and 11 percent somewhat opposed it. At the end, 58 percent were strongly opposed and 8 percent were somewhat opposed. In both cases, about 25 percent strongly or somewhat supported allowing horse processing in Oklahoma.

The survey was commissioned by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States.

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