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Farm Bureau leader concerned about Sooner Poll

Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling is calling into question actions by officials with Sooner Poll, requesting Gov. Mary Fallin to fully understand the results of their recent poll on horse processing legislation. Sooner Poll officials sent a letter to Fallin, emphasizing some of the results of the poll that showed Oklahoma voters oppose the legislation.

“Poll officials should maintain an independent, non-biased position on this issue,” Spradling said.

Specifically, Spradling is concerned about the small sampling of actual horse owners participating in the poll. The poll officials confirmed that only 16 percent of the respondents were horse owners.

“We believe the poll’s questions were written with the goal of extracting specific answers to match their intended results,” Spradling said. “Clearly this HSUS-funded poll was biased against the horse legislation.”

As an example, the farm leader noted a question that asked participants to respond, on a sliding scale of agreeability, with supporters of the bill claiming it would benefit Oklahoma agriculture and economic development.

“How can someone who is not an agricultural producer, possibly have any valid concept of the impact on agriculture?” Spradling said.

Another question asked participants to respond to opponents of the bill’s statement that horses would be trucked long distances to an Oklahoma plant and horse slaughter here would be just as inhumane as in Mexico because horses frighten easily and cannot be properly stunned before being dismembered.

The Farm Bureau leader said he has several concerns about this question.

“If a plant was built in Oklahoma it would have to comply with federal regulations regarding humane treatment,” Spradling said.

“Second, the word ‘dismembered’ is negative and leads the respondent to agree with the statement.”

Spradling added that many of the questions “lead” the respondent to answer the question in a certain way.

“It’s truly difficult for someone to properly and thoughtfully answer a question without knowing all the details,” Spradling said. “I doubt any of the respondents had a chance to read the entire bill, before answering the questions.”

Date: 4/8/2013


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