A new bill that would allow horse meat for human consumption could be put to a vote very soon. According to a report by KWTV Channel 9 News in Oklahoma City on Feb. 18, it could be legal to process, pack and ship horse meat.
The reason for this new bill is to cut the number of abused and neglected horse across the Sooner State. Since horse meat processing plants closed in 2006, there has been an increase of 60 percent in neglect, abuse and starvation of horses.
“That is just wrong; plain and simple,” Daryl Riley, the owner of eight horses from Stephens County, said. “I don't think eating horses is right. I know it is acceptable other places and that may be all they have, but I can't imagine eating a horse. For us, they are family members.”
The horse meat that could be processed in Oklahoma would be sent overseas for human consumption. There was a time that America exported over $42 million worth of horse meat per year. Processing horse meat in Oklahoma could create jobs and add to the state's economy.
It is currently illegal to consume horse meat in Oklahoma. That law would not change, if horse meat was allowed to be processed in the state.
Equine rescues and animal rights groups are opposed to allowing horse meat to be processed in Oklahoma. Debbie Alseth, the owner of the Ridgecrest Equestrian Center, is opposed to the bill. “God didn't create the horse for human consumption,” she said.