OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma took a step toward allowing livestock owners to slaughter horses for food on Friday when the governor signed a bill that permits the practice, but processing plants must first be authorized by the federal government.
Governor Mary Fallin's action legalized the slaughter of horses so that their meat may be prepared and packaged for export. But slaughterhouses must get US Department of Agriculture authorization, Fallin said.
The slaughter of horses for food had been illegal in Oklahoma since 1963 and was carried out only in Texas and Illinois until Congress stopped it in 2006. The congressional ban was lifted in 2011.
Fallin said horse slaughterhouses in Oklahoma would use more humane practices than those in Mexico because they would be inspected by federal authorities.