A bill that would allow horses to be slaughtered in Oklahoma is one step closer to becoming law.
A state Senate committee voted 9-0 to approve HB 1999 on Monday, clearing the way for the bill to be heard by the full Senate.
The bill authored by Bristow Republican Skye McNiel would end end Oklahoma's 50-year ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
If the bill becomes law, the sale of horse meat still would be illegal in Oklahoma, but the export for sale in other countries would be allowed.
Supporters say it would provide a humane option for unwanted, aging horses in Oklahoma. Animal rights groups have fiercely opposed the measure and to a similar bill pending in the House.
“I understand why some individuals and organizations have a bad reaction to this bill,” McNiel said in an earlier press release about the bill. “Unfortunately, the reality of the situation, which numerous organizations accept, is that we are either choosing the status quo – extreme neglect and abuse of horses – or allowing a humane method of slaughter to replace it.”
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