SB 1921 and its first House amendment, the
controversial legislation introduced by state Rep. Robert S.
Molaro, D-Chicago, to ban the slaughter of horses for human
consumption as well as the trade and transportation of horseflesh
and live horses intended for human consumption in Illinois, will
be called for a vote in mid-February.
This bill would prevent the Belgian-owned
company Cavel International from operating its new horse
slaughterhouse, which it is rebuilding in DeKalb in spite of the
strong local, state and nationwide public outcry.
Cavel International, a Belgian company owned by
the Belgian corporation "Velda Group," intends to
slaughter horses for human consumption in some European and Asian
countries, such as France, Belgium and Japan. In all of these
countries, horse meat is considered a delicacy. Cavel's new plant
will be ready to operate by March.
SB 1921 failed to reach the House floor in last
November's short veto session due to the death of state Rep. David
Wirsing, R-Sycamore, in whose district the Cavel plant is located.
There are only two horse slaughterhouses
remaining in the United States, both located in Texas, both
foreign-owned and both operating in open defiance of Texas state
law banning the trade and possession of horse meat. Litigation
pending with a federal judge in Texas would force these companies
to shut down, leaving Illinois as the one state in which horses
are slaughtered for human consumption.