OKLAHOMA RALLY DRAWS HUNDREDS OF FARMERS & RANCHERS
Wednesday morning, Oklahoma farmers and ranchers filled the hallways of Oklahoma City’s State Capitol, some traveling several hours, to deliver a message of encouragement to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. Sponsors of Oklahoma House Bill 1999 and Senate Bill 375 are working to find a much-needed solution to alleviate horse abandonment and neglect. These bills will give Oklahomans more options, including humane processing, for end of life treatment for their horses. Governor Fallin claims she’s received thousands of phone calls in opposition to these bills and few in support. So, Oklahoma farmers and ranchers answered the call. The response was overwhelming. Oklahoma Farm Bureau helped organize the agriculture groups from across the state to make sure the press conference exceeded capacity. They did just that. Guest speaker T.W. Shannon, Oklahoma’s Speaker of the House, spoke for all those in attendance saying:
“We’re here to make a statement loud and clear. That Oklahomans WILL not be intimidated by outside interests groups telling us how we should take care of Oklahomans. It’s just not going to happen.”
The room erupted in applause. Oklahoma farmers and ranchers knew they’d come to the right place. The speakers all echoed one another stating their support for lifting Oklahoma’s ban on humane horse processing. Oklahoma farmers and ranchers know how to provide their animals with the best care necessary and all those in attendance agreed. Speaker Shannon said it best: “We (Oklahomans) draw the line in the sand to say that we are not going to be bullied.” The Humane Society of the United States and other radical animal rights groups present themselves as a constant threat to rural Americans. They tried to intimidate Oklahomans by threatening Oklahoma State Representative Skye McNiel and her family. Animal rights extremists used harassing phone calls, emails, and anything they could lay hands on to attack her character and integrity. They hoped she would cower, but their efforts only led to escalated support. The hundreds in attendance proved how much support Oklahoma’s agriculture community has for Rep. McNiel and a common sense solution for humane horse processing.