Horse Racing Notebook

Saturday, December 20, 2003

By Joe Paschen

Slaughterhouse loses license

The controversial horse slaughterhouse that was being rebuilt in DeKalb has voluntarily surrendered its license to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

The facility was one of just three horse slaughterhouses in the United States when it burned down in May, 2002. The other two such facilities are located in Texas.

Local thoroughbred trainer Janet Ely said that food conglomerate Cavel International, Inc. of Belgium, responded to legal challenges and surrendered its license because of application errors.

According to state law, Cavel is eligible to apply for a new license since its previous license was not revoked.

It is illegal to eat horse meat in Illinois, but it is legal to slaughter horses in the state for the purpose of exporting the meat to foreign countries where the practice of consuming it is acceptable.

Rep. Bob Molaro (D-Chicago) is sponsoring legislation to make it illegal to slaughter horses in Illinois. The bill (SB 1921) will be re-introduced in Springfield after the holidays.

The measure failed to be called for a final vote during the Illinois legislature's short fall-veto session.

Fundraiser tonight

A fundraiser to support anti-horse slaughterhouse legislation is scheduled for today at 6 p.m. at After the Races, 3501 S. Laramie, in Cicero.

The event is sponsored by the Illinois chapter of the National Horse Protective Coalition. The organization supports national and local initiatives to ban the killing of horses for commercial purposes.

There will be a $10 cover charge. Admission includes beer, buffet, music and door prizes.