Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 19, 2014
Lawmakers make last push to get bill heard allowing voters to block
horse slaughter plants.
(Left to right) Canadian County Undersheriff Chris West, Oklahoma
County Commissioner Brian Maughan,
Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton, and Rep. David Dank, R-Oklahoma City.
High resolution version of photo
Sen. Bass urges hearing on bill to let counties
vote on horse slaughter plants
Time is running out for Oklahomans who want a say
in whether or not a horse slaughter plant should be built in their
community. Sen. Randy
Bass is the author of Senate Joint Resolution 66, which has
been assigned to the Senate Committee on Agriculture. So far the
measure has not been given a hearing, and if the bill isn’t
heard in committee by next Monday, the issue will likely be dead
for the session.
“This isn’t a hypothetical situation. I understand
there may be plans for a horse slaughter plant near the Oklahoma
City Stockyards, but without SJR 66, the people who will be most
impacted by this won’t have any say in the matter,”
said Bass, D-Lawton. “When she signed last year’s bill
legalizing horse slaughter in Oklahoma, Governor Mary Fallin said
local communities should be given the right to say no to horse slaughter
plants—this bill makes sure they’ll have that right.”
A SoonerPoll revealed the overwhelming majority of Oklahomans opposed
horse slaughter, regardless of political party or whether they lived
in a rural or urban area. Bass said that’s reflected in the
bipartisan support for his bill in the state, county and local levels
as well as among private citizens.
Rep. David Dank, R-Oklahoma City, is the House author of SJR 66.
“This bill simply lets the people who would be most affected
by having a horse slaughter facility in their area have some input
as to whether it happens,” Dank said. “Without this
legislation, there are many citizens in our state who will be left
with no recourse other than moving.”
Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan is also among those
supporting SJR 66. His district includes Stockyards City, and he
urged all members of Oklahoma County’s legislative delegation
to give SJR 66 their full support.
“This is just a few hundred yards from the western end of
the Oklahoma River. Do we really want to invite Olympic rowing events
to Oklahoma City to be greeted by pollution from a horse slaughter
operation staining the water? It is just a mile or so southwest
of downtown,” Maughan said. “Are we really anxious to
invite visitors to enjoy our downtown renaissance and then have
to explain that noxious odor coming up from a horse slaughter plant
just down the street?”
Maughan, a Republican, said the Stockyards area was already one
of the more economically endangered sections of the metro. He said
the problems that would inevitably come with a horse slaughter operation
would worsen that situation with lower property values and increased
Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards echoed those concerns.
“Building a horse slaughter house in Canadian County or in
the vicinity would promote crime, including the theft of horses.
It would have a negative impact on our county’s image,”
Edwards said. “I can’t imagine anybody in their right
mind promoting or being associated with the slaughtering of horses.
Every county ought to have the opportunity to be able to vote to
stop the construction of a horse slaughter plant.”
Bass said the experiences in other communities like Kaufman, Texas,
give weight to the concerns raised by Maughan, Edwards and others
supporting legislation to let local communities vote on the issue.
“Their property values fell. Horse theft increased, and there
were serious environmental problems,” Bass said. “These
plants pollute the air and the water. In Texas, the sewage treatment
plants were overwhelmed, with sewage containing horse sludge that
actually backed up into people’s toilets and bathtubs. Those
plants eventually were closed, but the damage had been done.”
Bass said he learned this week that former OU Coach Barry Switzer
and his wife, Becky, were also among the many Oklahomans who have
come forward in support of SJR 66.
“The clock is ticking on SJR 66,” Bass said. “We
need to have a hearing on this measure before it’s too late
to hear it, and too late to help those Oklahomans who will be directly
impacted by horse slaughter operations.”
For more information, contact:
Sen. Bass: (405) 521-5567