OKLAHOMA CITY - Two separate bills to end Oklahoma's ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption have sailed through the House and Senate.

The state Senate passed a bill 38-6 Wednesday, while the House measure was approved on an 82-14 vote.

Senate Bill 375 and House Bill 1999 repeal the section of Oklahoma law prohibiting the slaughter of horses for human consumption. With their passage, horse meat can now be produced and packaged in Oklahoma, only if it is to be exported internationally and only if the horses are sold through a livestock auction and purchased by a livestock dealer.

The bills were proposed with the intention of cutting the number of abused and neglected horses across the state.

The sponsor of the House measure, Rep. Skye McNiel, said the bill would allow a horse slaughtering plant to open in the state and provide a humane option for unwanted, aging horses. The Bristow Republican said the sale of horse meat for consumption in the United States would still be banned, but that it could be sent overseas.

Opponents say a slaughtering plant is no humane way to dispose of a horse and that the bills are being fast-tracked through the Legislature before opposition mounts.