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Horse Slaughter Bill Introduced in Oklahoma

Oklahoma State Representative Skye McNiel has served up a horse slaughter for human consumption bill for Oklahoma, HB1999,  despite ethics issues she perhaps should have considered, as well as the many unintended consequences of horse slaughter.

Ethical Misconduct?

Representative McNiel's family has a financial interest in a livestock auction house in Oklahoma that features bi-weekly horse sales.  However, according to OK's “CONSTITUTIONAL ETHICS RULES governing the ETHICAL CONDUCT of STATE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES and CAMPAIGNS for STATE OFFICE OR STATE ISSUES EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2011" Ms. McNiel may be in violation of her state’s ethics rules.  

Representative McNiel has at the very least, “…a reasonably foreseeable benefit…” from the legislation that she’s introduced.

257:20-1-7. Votes, deliberations, and discussions
by legislators or statewide elective officers

(a) A legislator or statewide elective officer shall not
introduce or cause to have introduced, request the
introduction of, promote, or vote on any legislation if
the statewide elective officer or legislator or a child,
adopted child, step-child or spouse of the officer or
legislator or a business or entity with which the
legislator or officer or a member of the immediate
family of the legislator or officer is associated has:

(1) a pecuniary interest in; or
(2) a reasonably foreseeable benefit from;
the legislation. A reasonably foreseeable benefit
includes detriment to a business competitor to the
legislator or statewide elective officer, to a business
competitor of a member of the immediate family of the
legislator or officer, or to a business competitor of a
business or entity with which the legislator or officer or
child, adopted child, step-child or spouse of the
legislator or officer is associated. . .

The Horse Abandonment Problem

In this economy, corporate special interests have consistently beat the drum of rhetoric, that poor, poor horses are being abandoned and starved to death.  Wouldn't they be better served, on a plate!  However, in fact, a European Union Report (pg. 7) shows that of 62,560 horses taken to slaughter in Mexico in 2010, 5363 horses were rejected for slaughter for human consumption due to being sick pregnant etc.

Where did these horses go? They are being dumped, abandoned.

Sure there are isolated cases of horse owners abandoning and starving their horses, but when there is a slaughter facility, abandonment is systematic, required, even planned. Hence, Horse Slaughter is THE CAUSE of horse abandonment.

Slaughter vs Euthanization

In the US there are 9 Million Horses of which 900,000 die naturally or are put down each year. These 900,000 horses are not in the slaughter pipeline.  They are buried, composted, cremated, rendered, or left for wildlife to consume if not euthanized.

There are only 110,000 horses in the slaughter for human consumption pipeline. This amount of horses could easily go the same way the other 900,000 went or be re-absorbed into the economy providing jobs.

The Irony of Humane Slaughter

Oh you say, it would be much better to slaughter the US horses in the U.S. where we can make sure it's humane, have a shorter trip....

1. Even before Americans closed the foreign owned slaughter plants down (in 2006), horses were going to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. For example from USDA FAS data.

Year           1967      1990        2004         2012
Canada        1,315   27,856     24,428     40,865
Mexico         178      2,949      17,636      69,298

2. Additionally, Cattle Slaughter in the US has not been accomplished in accordance to the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958, much less horse slaughter.  Horses have a thicker skull and their brains are more anterior than cattle, making it even more difficult to put them out by one blow to the head with a pneumatic hand held bolt gun.  Horses are also flight animals with long necks and if their head is contained, they will break their necks.  They have 1.8% more blood to bleed out.  For all these reasons and more, horses cannot be slaughtered humanely.

3. Even with slaughter plants here in the U.S., the trip was long because the volume of horses is so low and therefore the plants where few and far in between.

The Unintended Consequences of Horse Slaugher

Other reasons why Horses should not be slaughtered for human consumption include:

Read the whole report by the Wild Horse Observers Association: UNITED STATES Equine Slaughter Feasibility

“Four in five (80%) voters disapprove of allowing American horses to be slaughtered for human consumption. In fact, two-thirds (67%) of all registered  voters disapprove strongly , while just 13% say they approve of slaughtering American horses for human consumption.

Furthermore the opposition to horse slaughter for human consumption has grown by over 10 percentage points over the past five years.”

-Lake Research Partners

Originally posted to meepdog on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:18 PM PST.

Also republished by Oklahoma Roundup.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It seems a Wildlife Management team (0+ / 0-)

    could dart and sterilize wild horses where the density is great.  With our stepped up border patrol - it is hard to imagine large numbers of horses getting across into Canada or Mexico. Why do I suspect that cattle ranchers are ultimately behind efforts to control horse numbers? Could it be they might compete with the free range cattle grazing?  It is the same mentality that is  causing the death of so many wolves?

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:26:56 AM PST

    •  Population Control (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, and yes. However the same special interest groups which are running western state governments are actually blocking the use of the dartable immuno-contraceptive PZP.

      In actuality, the over-pop is a hype. There are 8 million cattle on federal public lands alone not to mention millions more on state lands. There are about 20K horses and dropping.

      What about those 200 to 500 liters of methane released daily per cow?

      More is spent on Predator control than on the entire wild horse and burro program.

    •  It's not illegal to ship horses across the border (0+ / 0-)

      to either Mexico or Canada.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:56:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Representative Skye McNeil Biography on VoteSmart (0+ / 0-)


    Professional Experience
    Owner, Flower and Gift Shop, 2003-present
    Cattle Checker, Mid America Stockyards, 1988-present

    On The Ballot:    Won, Republican for State House - District 29
    Primary    June 26, 2012
    General    Nov. 6, 2012

                 Hence, this is a recent biography.

  •  Thanks to Rep McDaniel and Rep Shelton (0+ / 0-)

    We would like to congratulate House Rep. McDaniel and House Rep. Shelton for voting NO on HB1999. Looks like at least two Oklahoma legislators have not been bought off. The other members? Derby, Mulready, Cox, Grau, Echols, Ritze, Enns, Hulbert...corrupt and totally purchased right off the shelf at Walmart. Democracy means nothing to them. We are embarrassed for them and for Oklahoma for paying them to do nothing but push their own agenda no matter the cost to fellow Oklahomans.
    If you live in Oklahoma let them know!! If you love this animal let them know! ! LET THEM KNOW!!!

    This as posted on Facebook by Lisa Cronin

  •  McNeil "embarrassed" (0+ / 0-)

    LOL!!! OH may be wondering why I am laughing but... yes HB1999 passed, but we learned that McNiel is truly and sadly a coward, she is embarrassed by this bill AND the committee system is very corrupt on this issue.

    This from Stephanie Graham on FB

  •  Oklahomans Against Horse Slaughter in 2012 and Bey (0+ / 0-)

    Oklahomans Against Horse Slaughter in 2012 and Beyond shared your link: "House Representative McNiel. You are dead wrong. It is NOT about you. It is about the fact that you are leading investors, towns people, irresponsible horse owners and fellow legislators down a dead end road. Both you and Senator Mark Allen are opening a door to something that come August 2013 will cease to exist. Do you NOT follow international news Skye? And Mark do you not know how Bute, adulterated horse meat, Buger King and the fallout of Beef in Europe are tied together. You are on a roundabout with no exits and with many victims (even though corrupted) in tow. You have both given Oklahoma the biggest black eye in Oklahoma animal welfare history in the last 50 years. And watch out...this move will cannibalize the beef industry."

  •  The idea that slaughter causes horse abandonment (0+ / 0-)

    is ridiculous.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:54:43 PM PST

    •  Ridiculous sure, see pg 7 EU report on US border (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for your comment, check it out.

      pg 7
      Data for 2010 presented by staff of the OISA visited showed that, out of 630 consignments of live horses for slaughter, 58 were rejected after documentary checks and a further 226 consignments had animals rejected. At the six OISAs involved in imports of live horses from the US, 5 336 live horses in 631 consignments were rejected out of 62 560 animals presented for import between January and
      October 2010.

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