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Oklahoma to permit horse slaughter and meat processing

On Friday Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill permitting livestock owners to slaughter horses so their meat may be prepared and packaged. However, processing plants must still be authorized by the federal government.

By Steve OlafsonReuters / March 30, 2013

Horses stand outside the riding stables at Beverly Farm in Godfrey, Ill., as a major snow storm blows through the area in February. On Friday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin approved legislation that will allow livestock owners to slaughter horses for their meat.

John Badman/The Telegraph/AP/File

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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.

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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.

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