Contact: Janice Ely, 708-638-6186
Horse Slaughterhouse Surrenders License
The Cavel International Inc. who is in the process of rebuilding their horse slaughterhouse in DeKalb, IL has voluntarily surrendered their license to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. This company lost their facility March 31, 2002 to a fire that was determined to be of unknown origin.
In April of 2003, their license was renewed by the Department of Agriculture. When questioned how can a food processing plant be renewed without an inspection, Tim Kraft, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Agriculture, said that it was a mistake, that whoever processed the application just cashed the check and sent the license through. When asked if the department was going to revoke the license since it was issued under fraudulent pretense, the answer was no. There is a clause in the Illinois Horsemeat Act that states if a license is revoked due to false application, then those responsible will be ineligible for future licensing.
This is an end run around the law. By surrendering the license, the Department of Agriculture is off the hook revoking it, and Cavel can reapply for a new license like nothing ever happened.
This company is based in Belgium. They slaughter horses (as many as 100 per day) and send the meat to Europe for human consumption. Rep. Bob Molaro (D-Chicago) has sponsored legislation making it illegal to slaughter horses in the state of Illinois for human consumption. It is already illegal to eat horses here (Illinois Dept. of Agriculture). Currently there are only two operating horse slaughterhouses in the United States, both in Texas, and both in the process of being shut down by the State of Texas. If this plant is allowed to open, Illinois would become the horse slaughtering center of the country.