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More humane for horses?

Oklahoma says it’s OK to slaughter horses for meat, but that doesn’t mean it will start to happen yet.

Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law a bill that will let those in the state carry out the practice, which was outlawed 50 years ago in Oklahoma. However, it’s not going to begin anytime soon, because the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not approved any slaughterhouses to process horse meat, which would be exported. A plant in New Mexico has been trying to gain USDA approval for more than a year.

Though animal-rights advocates oppose Oklahoma’s measure, others point out that American horses currently may end up being shipped to Mexico for slaughter and possibly be subjected to inhumane conditions. The governor argues that allowing American plants to process horse meat would be preferable.

“In Oklahoma, as in other states, abuse is tragically common among horses that are reaching the end of their natural lives,” Fallin said, as reported by the Associated Press. “Those of us who care about the well-being of horses — and we all should — cannot be satisfied with a status quo that encourages abuse and neglect, or that rewards the potentially inhumane slaughter of animals in foreign countries.”