Chicago Sun Times

The horse slaughter!

April 2, 2004


Actress Bo Derek must be furious!

*To wit: Derek, who rode a horse to fame in the movie "10," has been on a national crusade to stop the slaughter of horses for food -- and was urging such a ban in Illinois.

*The absent nitwits: The state's Horse Slaughter Ban bill, which looked like it was going in pass in the Illinois House last Thursday, was kept alive in a maneuver by state Rep. Bob Molaro, the bill's sponsor, when the vote tally came up five short. (It needed 60 to pass, and when a number of reps who expressed support of the bill wound up missing, the vote tally was 55 yes and 54 no!)

*The stats: More than 49,000 horses were slaughtered in the United States last year at two foreign-owned slaughterhouses. They were killed for human consumption in Europe and Asia. Tens of thousands more were exported live and slaughtered abroad. Word is many of these horses are young and in great shape.

Read on, if you have the stomach.

*A Kentucky Derby winner named Ferdinand, who won in 1986, was sold at auction to the Japanese when he was 14 years old ... and shipped overseas, where he wound up being slaughtered for food!

*A black horse named Lucky, who is the star of a children's show at Old Town's Noble Horse stable, was rescued from a horse slaughterer in 1958.

*There are two horse slaughter facilities in the United States, both of which are in Texas. But one is scheduled to reopen in DeKalb in mid-April!

"It's shocking," said Molaro. "That's why we were hoping to get this bill [S.B. 1921] passed before the slaughterhouse opened," he said. "We could recall it in the next couple of days or revisit it when the Legislature comes back after Easter."

Meanwhile, you might want to ask state Representatives Patricia Bailey, Patricia Bellock, Mike Boland, John Bradley, Dan Brady, Daniel Burke, Lee Daniels, Jack McGuire, Charles Morrow, Ed Sullivan Jr. and Arthur Turner why they voted "no" ... and why James Brosnahan, Marlow Colvin, John Fritchey, Paul Froehlich and Calvin Giles were either excused or didn't vote.

So, gentle readers, next time you see a truckload of horses heading down the expressway, chances are they are going to a slaughterhouse rather than a stud farm.