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Groups Ratchet Up Horse Meat Debate

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Several Oklahoma legislators and officials say they will not be intimidated or swayed by criticism of a proposal to allow the commercial slaughter of horses within the state, even as members of Congress mull reinstating a federal slaughter ban.

Rep. Skye McNiel of Bristow joined House Speaker T. W. Shannon and members of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and other agriculture groups Wednesday to reiterate their stance in the face of what they call "harassment" from animal rights activists.

McNiel says her bill would provide a humane, economical option to farmers and ranchers with old or unwanted animals. The Humane Society of the United States and other groups counter there are better ways to deal with those animals.

While Oklahoma currently bans the slaughter, federal law has allowed it since 2011.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.