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Oklahoma lifts 50-year-old ban on horse slaughter for meat

Oklahoma governor signs bill to allow horses to be slaughtered for meat in the state

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Despite opposition by animal activists, Oklahoma’s Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill on Friday that will allow facilities to process and export horse meat.

The move marks a 50-year-old ban on horse slaughter in Oklahoma. Instead of shipping horses destined for slaughter out of the country to places like Mexico and Canada, which is often argued to be a humane alternative for aging or starving horses, facilities will now be allowed to operate within the state.

The legislation received bipartisan support in both the state House and Senate and was backed by agricultural groups including the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association and American Farmers.

Opponents to the bill including the Humane Society of the United States were disappointed that the bill passed. The group also notes that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently received an application for horse slaughter inspection permits from a meat processing company in Washington, Oklahoma.

The new law is set to take effect Nov. 1, 2013.

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