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charlietuna 03-10-2013 06:14 PM

Law allowing horse slaughter in Oklahoma
 
Hello everyone. I don't know whether this is the right place or not, but we need help here. I'm not sure what we can do except get the word out and ask people to contact people about stopping the problem.
Oklahoma has passed two bills, HB1999 and SB375 which are waiting for the Governor's signature to become law. These bills were sent through the legislature without much debate - a first in Oklahoma history. They will allow the opening of the nation's first horse slaughter plant since the national ban was overturned by Congress a couple of years ago. They are supported by the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association and the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. I guess they want to get the last few dollars out of the horses they have used up.
The bills are not supported by almost everyone else. It was proposed by Representative Skye McNiel, whose family owns and runs the largest horse auction in the state, so she gains directly and will not change her mind.
We have protested and started getting public opinion behind us, but there is not much time before the Governor makes the signing decision.

SlideStop 03-10-2013 06:17 PM

Your barking up the wrong tree. If the horse forum was in government slaughter houses would have been up and running yesterday. Just do a search on here and you'll find loads of people posting and outlawing horse slaughter and why the majority of the people here are for it.
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tempest 03-10-2013 06:20 PM

Welcome to the forum.

I will point out first that the majority of the people on this forum see horse slaughter as a necessary evil and therefore are pro-slaughter. I don't think you're going to get much support here. The topic of horse slaughter has also been beaten to death (pardon the pun) on this forum. And horse slaughter was never banned in the US, there was no funding from the government but it was still legal. Some of the older forum members can tell you more.

I just thought I'd warn you ahead of time of how hot this topic is and that there is a big possibility that an argument may occur.

Cherie 03-10-2013 08:38 PM

Get your facts straight -- It is not waiting for the Governor to sign. If it was, she would have already signed it.

The two bills, HB 1999 (the bill passed by the house) and SB 375 (the bill passed by the Senate) are not identical. One Says Horse Meat will NOT be allowed to be sold in the State of Oklahoma (a provision added to placate the cattlemen and thus get their support). It is now in Conference Committee so that a single version will come out later in this session. That version will then be voted on by the full House and Senate and if passed, will go to the Governor.

I have already contacted both my Senator and Representative and they voted for their versions and plan to vote for the final version. I Have already asked to be heard when it comes up for discussion. I wrote a letter that appeared in the State's largest newspaper and have commented on this measure on line.

I only ask two questions of Charlietuna and other 'anti-slaughter' people:

1) Why do you prefer that horses have to stand on a truck for 18 hours or more to be hauled to Mexico where there is no control over the actual slaughter process than to have processing plants here in the US?

2) What would you do with the 20,000 to 30,000 horses that are sent to Mexico every year from Oklahoma alone if slaughter was not an option?


What are you going to propose to do to compensate horse owners when they lose ALL value and property rights by not being able to sell an animal that is legally theirs?

Being anti-slaughter is a knee-jerk reaction with more terrible 'unintended consequences' than any of these zealots have thought out. The HUGE problems of starvation and neglect are just a couple of these 'consequences' we are seeing now -- these are consequences of the 'loss of value' of all lower end and unwanted horses.

And yes, you probably came to the wrong place to campaign for the anti-slaughter position.

At the same time, I would urge ALL Oklahoma Horsemen and Horsewomen to contact their Reps and Senators to urge quick passage of this measure. Contact me, if you like and I will keep you informed of when rallies and discussions will be held where you can actively support this measure. The whole horse industry depends on horses having a salvage value and a decent 'set-in' price.

CLaPorte432 03-10-2013 09:05 PM

Great post Cherie.
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Shoebox 03-10-2013 10:16 PM

We get posts like this frequently. If you'd like more explanation as to why most of us are pro slaughter (or at least see it as necessary) feel free to dig them up, I'm sure there's at least a dozen within the last month or two.

WickedNag 03-11-2013 08:54 AM

Welcome to the forum. Pro slaughter here....

Cherie 03-11-2013 09:59 AM

Since Skye McNeil's district includes Bristow, OK, I would assume you are making a connection to the auction there. I do believe they sell more horses in a year than the sale barn here in Sulphur, OK, although some sales here have more than 250 horses selling.

An auction company only gets a commission on each sale. They have absolutely nothing to do with who sells what horses or who buys them. They provide a tremendous service in that they are always there and people that want a new horse (particularly 'project horses') and people that need to sell a horse can do that without driving all over the country or trying to sell one or give one away on a place like Craig's List. If people cannot afford to feed a horse, they do not have the money to euthanize one and bury it. And face it -- a dead horse is a dead horse. The horse surely does not care if it provides food to someone or is poisoned and wasted. Frankly, I would rather see that the horse's body is NOT WASTED.

Every horse is available to anyone that bids on it. The buyers determine the price or 'value' of that horse that day, not the auction company. Thank goodness the mostly 'despicable slaughter buyers' are there to get the horses that no one else wants. They are 'bottom feeders' and I have not met a single one I like, but thank goodness they are there. If they weren't there, half of the horses or more would not get a single bid and would be abandoned at the sale or out in the parking lot or left to die in some back pasture.

The person or family that owns the sale barn should not be demonized for only providing a service. They did not create the atmosphere where horses are now starved and neglected. I appreciate her (Skye McNeil) for trying to correct the bad situation of unintended consequences that have worsened the lives of hundreds of thousands of horses across the US.

I am sure Skye McNeil has seen first hand that horses now going to sales are very thin. Many have a BS of 1 or 2. People hang on to them as long as they can, hoping it will rain or hoping their finances will improve or ???. When they finally decide the horse will die if they don't get rid of it, the horse is a mere skeleton. People attending these sales (as well as the owners and auctioneers) will all tell you how horse care dropped with the 'set-in' value when local processing plants were closed. It ain't rocket science. People take better care of a horse when they know it has a 'salvage value' of nearly a $1000.00 fat instead of $100.00 thin. Now the thin ones are lucky to bring $20.00 or even get a bid.

The fact that I have seen these unintedned consequences first hand at the auction 2 miles down the highway from me is why I am such a proponent of opening new horse processing plants here in OK and many other states. They are desperately needed. I think their presence (which will bring up horse values) will actually make the number of horses sent to slaughter greatly decrease. People will be much more likely to buy project horses and will protect the value of their other horses by keeping them in better condition.

This is all about supply and demand and the fact that it takes many years for supply to drop down to the level of the demand when a market crashes or the economy crashes. Horses live 25 to 30 years with decent care. Do you know what your situation will be or what the economy will be in 20 years? I don't think so. It is not a matter of breeding too many horses. Most of the horses now going to slaughter were bred and raised when the demand for horses was very high. Not a single one was bred FOR the slaughter market. These horse are as much victims of our economy, unforeseen high feed prices and the unintended consequences of them losing their salvage value.

I personally invite anyone to come to Sulphur and I will attend the local sale with them and point out what is happening and who is bidding on what horses. Most people that think stopping slaughter will improve horses' live are very sadly mistaken. It only takes one trip to the local auction with someone knowledgeable to inform them otherwise. It is like water -- you can't stop it from going downhill. There always have been and always will be 'unwanted horses'. There are just a lot more of them right now.

PM me if you would like to see exactly what goes on at an auction. I would be happy to explain it all to anyone.

charlietuna 03-12-2013 12:14 PM

Thank you for welcoming me to the board. Quite a way to start, getting sideways with a Moderator.


Thank you Cherie for helping me 'get my facts straight'. When I read the bills, they had both been voted on and I did not see anything in them about the differences that had to be hammered out. Another fact I got wrong was the 1970's ban on horsemeat by the Federal Government was only against its use in pet food. Not human consumption.


You asked me some questions which I have to consider before asking my own:

1) Why do you prefer that horses have to stand on a truck for 18 hours or more to be hauled to Mexico where there is no control over the actual slaughter process than to have processing plants here in the US? - I don't want them to be transported for up to 24 hours without food, rest or water (which the law allows) to get them to Oklahoma in the same condition. And honestly, there isn't much control over the slaughter process here either. The plants have high fences for a reason.

2) What would you do with the 20,000 to 30,000 horses that are sent to Mexico every year from Oklahoma alone if slaughter was not an option? - That number seems a little high. About 1 in 10 in Oklahoma, but you work in the horse industry and know it better than I do, so ok. I understand about supply and demand. Also about the rising cost of feed and a slumping economy. Abuse and abandonment are still covered by existing laws. Many of the people who think they have no way out can find someone or an organization to help them if they try. My evidence is the number of people who offer to take in or find feed for abandoned horses when the story hits the news.


You actually asked me another question with the third being: What are you going to propose to do to compensate horse owners when they lose ALL value and property rights by not being able to sell an animal that is legally theirs? - I wouldn't propose anything. They took the risk of breeding horses or having horses longer than they are monetarily useful. I took the risk of having horses and paying for them to be put down or doing it myself if I couldn't get a vet to come out when they were too old to ride or got injured. I also got a great deal from a breeder who wanted to retire an older brood mare. He got her with foal and I bought her for more than she would have been worth for slaughter. He won and I won by getting two horses with pretty good value.


Which brings me to the part where I get to ask questions. I have some answers too:


1. Where will this plant be built? Maybe along I35 south of Oklahoma City would be a good place. Convenient for all of the horses from other states coming in. Expect a fight from whoever will be its neighbors.


2. Who will work in the plant? This work has usually been done by experienced people coming from a country just to the south of us whether they have work papers or not. They should fit right in with the local population in Oklahoma.


3. Who will end up paying for all of the inspections and litigation the plant causes? Me. USDA and State Health officials are going to be constantly called there to inspect it and State lawyers will be called on to sue them for environmental problems.


5. Who will benefit from the meat? Only European companies will make a tidy profit from the meat and spend next to nothing in Oklahoma except lawyer fees.


6. Are the horses we send to slaughter free of the drugs, medication and other chemicals that we routinely use in our horses? Probably not, which means they should not be slaughtered for human consumption. Horses raised specifically for slaughter cost more to raise than beef. I guess that's not our problem.


7. Who is going to compensate me when my horse is stolen and the thief drives straight to the gates of the slaughterhouse with phony ownership papers to sell it? No one. At least now, I may be able to catch the horse at an auction or find out where it went for it's 18 hour drive and stop it and hope it's not injured too badly. The slaughterhouse doesn't have time to back check the history of all of the horses it receives and won't care about brands, tattoos or chips if it has a bill of sale.


Maybe I'm against it in Oklahoma because I don't want it here. These plants have terrible safety and environmental records and have been closed in this country for many reasons besides the ones I asked about.


Thank you, Cherie, for your invitation to visit an auction. I have been to them. They are a great way for someone who needs or wants to get a horse at a bargain price. I am always disappointed when good stock ends up going for next to nothing and I know where they will end up. On the other hand, I can't buy all of the ones no one else wants and put them out to pasture.

CowboyBob 03-12-2013 01:08 PM

5. Who will benefit from the meat? Only European companies will make a tidy profit from the meat and spend next to nothing in Oklahoma except lawyer fees.

Maybe we should start eating them too?

These plants have terrible safety and environmental records and have been closed in this country for many reasons besides the ones I asked about.

These plants were close because a bunch of bleeding hearts think its mean, and have found some bad videos to support there case and got a lot of people that have nothing to do with the horse industry to agree with them. The lose of the meat prices on horses has caused a lot of problems in the horse industry.

2. Who will work in the plant? This work has usually been done by experienced people coming from a country just to the south of us whether they have work papers or not. They should fit right in with the local population in Oklahoma.

This I think was out of line and uncalled for. The issue of illegal imagination is a much bigger problem then the slaughter industry. Not to mention the "slight" racist tone.

7. Who is going to compensate me when my horse is stolen and the thief drives straight to the gates of the slaughterhouse with phony ownership papers to sell it? No one. At least now, I may be able to catch the horse at an auction or find out where it went for it's 18 hour drive and stop it and hope it's not injured too badly. The slaughterhouse doesn't have time to back check the history of all of the horses it receives and won't care about brands, tattoos or chips if it has a bill of sale.

Really?? are you really going there. Was horse stealing really that big a problem before the slaughter ban? I don't know about OK but Montana is a brand state, its not that easy to steal and sell a horse is it. I Think you are just looking for "reason" to fight it.
Just tell the truth you don't agree with the slaughter of horses. Its ok you are free to believe what ever you like. Coming up with all these other "reason" is just you trying to say no matter how or where it happens you do not agree.

Good luck with your fight you have every right to try to stop it from happening in your state.


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