Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Oklahoma could soon be known as the “Horse Slaughter Capital of the World.”


For several years now, the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce has tried to brand OKC as the “Horse Show Capital of the World.” In fact, they have a page on their website dedicated to it.

Home to more equine events than any other city in the world, Oklahoma City is the venue of choice for more than a dozen top national and world championship horse shows, attracting riders from across the nation – and world – each year.

Not only do Oklahoma City horse shows provide family fun entertainment, they make a substantial contribution to the city’s economy. Total estimated economic impact of all Oklahoma City horse shows exceeds $126.5 million each year.

Citizens gave the nod to Oklahoma City’s western heritage in 2004, when they voted to increase the hotel tax, which is financing a bond to pay for upgrades and continuous improvements to State Fair Park equine and livestock facilities. Providing top-notch showing facilities secures the city’s position as Horse Show Capital of the World, helping it retain current horse shows and pursue new shows.

Equine organizations around the world are noticing the state-of-the-art, 21st century complex at State Fair Park. The complex will feature nine barns, VIP RV parking, exercise areas and a conference and meetings facility.

It may be about time for the Chamber to update the horse show page. If Rep. Skye McNiel, R-Bristow, gets her way, people will be able to legally slaughter horses for human consumption in Oklahoma.

Via the Tulsa World:

Legislation to legalize horse slaughterhouses in Oklahoma passed a state House Committee on Tuesday, the same day the bill’s author was hit with an ethics complaint.

Without debate or questions, the House Public Health Committee voted 8-2, split by party, in favor of House Bill 1999, sending the proposal to the House floor for possible consideration. A similar bill passed a Senate committee on Monday.

Rep. Skye McNiel, R-Bristow, said her proposal is a humane one that is designed to deal with a growing problem in rural Oklahoma – old horses that have outlived their working lives and are being abandoned to starve.

According to Cynthia Armstrong, state director of the Humane Society of the United States, the bill has some issues:

“They would love to keep … hammering home that there’s so many starving horses, that they’re helping neglected horses by slaughtering them. They’re saying it’s the equivalent of euthanasia, that it’s a mercy thing,” she said. “As long as we keep it there, we’re never going to get around to talking about the fact that these plants are community killers.”

Horse slaughterhouses damage community reputations and are environmentally destructive, she said.

Furthermore, American horses aren’t raised to be food and are routinely injected with drugs that would make the meat’s consumption dangerous, she said.

Despite advocate claims that meat from a horse facility would not be sold in the state, Armstrong said it is wrong to produce food that is toxic and dangerous.

“We wouldn’t ship an illicit drug, like heroin, overseas … just because we could sell it to somewhere where there may be a market for it,” she said. “It’s a very hypocritical viewpoint.”

This is actually a difficult issue to figure out. Team Horse Killers make some valid points. If allowing horse slaughter in Oklahoma is humane and solves a problem, shouldn’t we legalize it and give a little boost to the economy? The horses are going to be slaughtered anyway, so they might as well be killed here in Oklahoma and help boost our economy. You can kind of justify it the same way you could medical marijuana, only without dead horses.

Of course, sometimes you have to ask yourself “Do I really want to be the asshole who supports and endorses horse slaughter for human consumption?” The answer to that is probably “No.” If it’s yes, then remind me to never let you watch my dog. Seriously, I don’t care if it boosts our economy or not. Not all money is good money. Let those people turn Black Beauty, Mr. Ed and My Little Pony into French hamburgers in some other state. (And yes, you could use that same logic in opposing medical marijuana, but once again, minus dead horses).

Anyway, despite it quickly passing through committee, I don’t think this bill has a good chance of becoming law.

First of all, it sets a dangerous precedent. If you’re going to allow the slaughter of horses, what comes next? Are we going to start killing dogs and cats and chinchillas for food, too? And yes, I know that’s the same stupid argument that anti-gay marriage advocates throw out there> That’s why I wrote it. It feels cool to be dumb and ignorant for once.

Also, the Obama administration actually lifted the US ban on horse slaughter in 2011, so if an Oklahoma lawmaker votes for this bill, it will mean they’re agreeing with Obama on something. I don’t think that’s ever happened. Obama could claim they sky is blue and some rural lawmaker would call for him to be impeached. Then again, if our wacko lawmakers did agree with Obama on anything, it figures that the topic would be killing horses. That’s not very surprising.


    • Yeah, the ‘ol if you try to take away guns from angry crazy people you’ll end up taking guns away from everyone except criminals defense.

      Well played.

  1. What about slaughtering pregnant horses? People might eat horse fetusses feti fetuses foetuserettiies unborn baby horses.

    • Killing these wonderful animals…or any animals is disgusting….killing ANY aniimal is disgusting. And yes, I’m a Vegan.

    • You are so wrong. Horse meat is horribly bad for you. The two reasons why that are scientifically proven are: presence of prohibited substances and medications in the meat, and the extremely high levels of adrenaline and cortisol that cause Cancer if consumed on a regular basis. Horse meat is bad, in every way, all the way around!

  2. Sorry but eating horse meat is just plain wrong. I know there’s no difference between eating beef and horse meat but still, that’s like an obvious sign in front of an Asian restaurant proudly proclaiming “new dogs and cats processed daily”

  3. For those sites who are “considering” implementation of a “horse harvesting” facility in your community. A few things that need to be considered in the overall scope of the project.:
    Tax records – when “horse harvesting” was still a practice in the US.- The parent companies of these facilities are foreign owned, as horse meat is not a popular commodity in the US. Tax records posted publicly on the Kaufman Zoning site show an annual tax bill in the neighborhood of FIVE DOLLARS? How is that going to benefit your community, given the COST of maintenance and disposal of the waste products – many of them toxic – from the processing facilities? Additionally, history has PROVEN that stewardship of the land that they operate on is not a primary concern for these companies – not their country, not their problem. Take the money until the community wises up, and then move on. Why do you suppose that the states that USED to house processing facilities no longer want them there?
    Job creation – oh yeah – minimum wage positions – so gruesome that the majority of those who are willing to take the position are desperate, and have no conscience with regard to the welfare or treatment of the animals they are “harvesting”. After all, they’re just a piece of meat – they just happen to be breathing prior to the process they are about to endure.
    Traffic – many large semi trucks – rolling into your neighborhood – waiting their turn to offload their “product” – some of whom will be dead on arrival – Those animals cannot be “harvested” – and usually are piled up in an “undisclosed location” on the property to “compost”. You can look forward to enjoying the fragrance of their decomposing bodies on a warm summer’s evening while you’re grilling your food on the patio. And occasionally, if your dog manages to get out and go for a run, he’ll bring you a “souvenir” from his ramblings… Hopefully, it will just be an unidentifiable bone, and you won’t have to see the horror on your children or guests face when he brings home an identifiable horse part!
    Just a few things to consider before you invite them into your neighborhood

  4. No scruples…those “old used up horses” are chock full of meds that poison people…horse meat was banned for dog food, and now you wanna feed those old horses to people?!?!….I’ll just bet the lawyers are gathering their briefings and lining up for the class-action lawsuits sure to follow….Investors beware, cuz this is a bloody, slippery slope !!!

  5. Horse meat is loaded with medicines like bute and workers that are labeled “not to be used in horses intended for human consumption.” Very very carcinogenic. It’s banned for dog food and we want to have it in the food chain? That’s not even talking about the barbaric method of captive bolt stunning a horse and hanging it to slit its throat alive.

    There has been a very heated debate as to the humaneness of the captive bolt when used on horses. The following affidavit was submitted by former USDA Veterinarian, Dr. Lester Friedlander, to the Congress in 2008.

    “The captive bolt does not meet the humane method of slaughter, as described in the 1958 “Humane Slaughter Act.” Head restraints are not used in the slaughter of horses and therefore, does not comply with the Statute. The captive bolt is used in cattle, due to the fact the cow’s brain is more anterior than the horse’s brain and the penetration of the bolt is more effective. Horses are not, and cannot be restrained, during horse slaughter. I have seen several video tapes of horse slaughter where the horses have to be struck with the captive bolt several times. No head restraints were used; to do so would cause these flight animals to break their necks. During these multiple times of striking the horse head with the captive bolt, the horses are in pain and suffering. It is important to know that the captive bolt does not kill the horse, nor was it ever intended to. The horse must be exsanguinated to be suitable for human consumption. As the captive bolt is not a proper instrument for the slaughter of equids, and these animals regain consciousness thirty seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are being vivisected. Ergo, the use of the captive bolt for equids is a violation of the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958.”

    California’s horse theft dropped 34% when its slaughter plant was closed.

    There’s no reason we want this in any way shape or form!!!

  6. Whisky formy men and beer for my horses!

    Issue 1 – Why would you eat sick old dying crippled horses with meds, toxics, cancers etc.? Answer: No one knowingly does.

    This is a veiled attempt to begin breeding horses for slaughter and it will backfire and ruin the USDA Beef industry for export.
    Pretend all the sick, old horses went away.Would the slaughter houses close? No Now they can justify deliberately breeding horses for the sole purpose of slaughter. Horse Slaughter Hounds will cause direct competition to beef by higher grain, vet, water,transport and supplies prices. You think its bad now with another year of drought coming and the moisture cycles changing with less snow pack?

    But since no one is reading the news, illegal horsemeat has been forced fed into school lunches, meat unfit for dogs fed to children. .

    This is to benefit only those who own auctionhouses (McNeil) and a very FEW people.

    Meanwhile the sales of beef have dropped 40 percent because people DO NOT WANT TO EAT HORSE!!! So vote these assinine bill dead!

  7. If people of Oklamhoma find out how much tax money Horse slaughter cost communities and how little revenue it produced when it was legal before, they will reject it completely.
    Previous horse slaughter plants raised horse thefts so high that no horse was safe in its pasture, and several communities, like Kaufman Texas went completely bankrupt because the slaughter houses created a huge public health hazard that they never took financial repsonsibility to clean up.

  8. What really needs to be considered in this issue is the serious risk to human health that is contained in commercially slaughtered horse meat. The levels of adrenaline and cortisol produced by equines are far, far greater than any legal levels found in any other meat harvested for human consumption. Horses are specifically bred for adrenaline production, not for human consumption.

    The fatally flawed head-shot kill method (severe head trauma) used in all commercial horse slaughter ensures that all of the adrenaline and cortisol that can possibly be produced by the animal is delivered throughout the flesh post shot. This is evidenced to any layman by the pulsing of the animal. In commercial beef production they call this “dark cutting” and the meat is not (supposed to be) legally approved for human consumption. Adrenaline and cortisol consumption by humans causes Colorectal and other forms of cancer.

    It is not just the existence of prohibited medications and other man-made substances in the meat that is illegal—it is the abundance of naturally occurring hormones and steroids that make horse meat more carcinogenic than any other commercially slaughtered meat.

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