The bill to allow horse slaughter in Oklahoma cleared the Senate and is now on Governor Mary Fallin's desk. Channel 8 spoke with a Claremore horse dealer who hates the idea of horse slaughter but calls it necessary.
"We have to have slaughter. I don't like it," said Rodney Payne of Arrow P Equine Sales. He has worked with horses for 50 years and said he loves them. However, he said he sees many horses sold to Mexico for slaughter. He said horse meat is a delicacy in Mexico, Europe, and other areas. The Oklahoma bill would allow the meat to be sold to other countries for consumption.
Payne said there is an overpopulation of horses and many of them are abandoned with high feed prices and other factors. He said keeping each of his 60-70 horses costs him about $5 per day to feed. He has rescued several horses from slaughter and wishes more people would do the same.
"There's not enough people out there to take care of all these horses," said Payne.
Channel 8 has heard from many opponents of the bill, saying killing horses borders on being inhumane.
Payne said people are given the opportunity to buy horses before they are currently sold to people that slaughter them in other countries. He said allowing slaughter in Oklahoma would mean more regulation of their deaths. He believes not many people are educated about the cruelty some abandoned or mistreated horses are subjected to.
The bill passed the Senate 32 to 14 Tuesday. The bill's author has received death threats.
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