Claremore Daily Progress

January 21, 2014

Bill would allow counties to approve horse slaughter plants

Staff Reports
Claremore Progress

OKLAHOMA CITY —

State Sen. Randy Bass has filed legislation giving Oklahomans control over whether to allow horse slaughter plants in their communities.  Senate Joint Resolution 66 would require proposed equine slaughter facilities to be approved by a majority of qualified voters in the county where the facility is to be located.

“When Governor Fallin signed legislation into law last year legalizing horse slaughter, she issued a statement saying it was important for towns to be able to block horse slaughter plants if that was their will,” said Bass, D-Lawton.  “This legislation would simply give counties the option to decide for themselves whether they want these facilities in their jurisdictions or not.”

Opponents of horse slaughter facilities point to statistics from around the country showing the plants have a negative economic impact on nearby communities, including lower real estate values.  Other problems associated with horse slaughter plants include increased crime, such as horse theft.  Critics also warn the plants have been tied to air and groundwater contamination which poses a public health risk.

A survey conducted by SoonerPoll last year revealed that the majority of Oklahomans did not want a horse slaughter facility in their community.  

“What’s interesting is the fact that it didn’t really matter if you were talking about people living in a rural area or a large city, and it didn’t matter if they were a Democrat or a Republican, conservative or liberal—the overwhelming majority did not want a horse slaughter plant in their community,” Bass said.  “This legislation reaffirms our citizens’ right to block such a facility if that’s what the majority of qualified voters decide.”