The Pryor Times

March 13, 2013

Horse associations weigh in on horse slaughter bill

Associated Press

— Pryor Times

OKLAHOMA CITY – Not only will a prominent horse association’s show stay in Tulsa if a bill to allow horse slaughter is enacted into law, but the sponsoring association says horse slaughter is a responsible solution for unwanted horses facing neglect.

State Rep. Skye McNiel said opponents of her bill have spread fear with misleading information about the horse show.

“The two communications I have now received indicate that the American Quarter Horse Association and the Arabian Horse Association will continue to do business in Oklahoma and will not be influenced by House Bill 1999 becoming law,” said McNiel, R-Bristow. “This confirms what I have believed all along – that the opposition to my legislation is based on false assumptions about what it will mean for our state. The opposition also is based on a lack of knowledge regarding the options currently available to many horse owners.”

A letter from the American Quarter Horse Association stated that both the American Quarter Horse Association World Championship and the American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Championship would continue to take place in Oklahoma, irregardless of the law. The letter also stated that, “The Association encourages responsible ownership practices and management that will reduce the number of unwanted horses and recognizes that federally regulated, humane processing of unwanted horses is a necessary aspect of the equine industry because it provides a humane euthanasia alternative for horses that might otherwise continue a life of discomfort and pain, or inadequate care or abandonment.”

Brandi Herndon, Agribusiness Manager for Expo Square in Tulsa, e-mailed McNiel to dispel a false assertion that “The National Arabian Horse Association just announced at the BLM Advisory meeting they will be withdrawing the annual Arabian Horse Show from Oklahoma.”

“I am happy to report that the Arabian Horse Association and National Show Commission were in Tulsa over the weekend for their annual site visit We had a great meeting with them. Regarding the email below, Glen Petty, Executive Director of the AHA, confirmed via phone this afternoon this is not true.  He stated, ‘this is absolutely not true.’ The AHA has another five-year contract with Expo Square for their U.S. Arabian and Half-Arabian National Show 2013 – 2017,” wrote Herndon.

McNiel further noted that numerous organizations have endorsed her legislation including the Oklahoma Farm Bureau.

“I understand why some individuals and organizations have a bad reaction to this bill,” McNiel said. “Unfortunately, the reality of the situation, which numerous organizations accept, is that we are either choosing the status quo – extreme neglect and abuse of horses – or allowing a humane method of slaughter to replace it.”