Thank you for publishing the story about SB
1921. Thank you also for seeing the truth that we are indeed an
overwhelming majority, not a strident minority as Mr. Tucker
Last year an estimated 50,000 horses were
slaughtered in this country for human consumption abroad.
Currently two equine slaughterhouses operate in Texas, and one
is being rebuilt in DeKalb, Illinois. All of these plants are
owned by French and Belgian corporations.
These people know that their trade is opposed
by most Americans, for the most part they keep a low profile.
They are also willing to resort to deceptive practices to get
their way. It was found that the Belgian company rebuilding in
DeKalb had been granted an operating permit by the IL Dept of
Agriculture, despite the fact that they falsified information on
their application. This permit should have been revoked, along
with their ability to re-apply. Instead, this company was
somehow allowed to surrender their permit and can now re apply
as if nothing happened. Does Illinois need a business so willing
to skirt the law? I hope not.
Another point to ponder: the countries
exporting this meat currently ban American beef, chicken and
pork (products which are good for our economy) which carry an
export tariff of 20%. The export tariff on horse meat is only
Illinois state senators and representatives
will be considering SB1921 with its 1st House Amendment during
the mid February session. This legislation would outlaw horse
slaughter for human consumption in Illinois, it has strong
support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Despite this, the Belgian company I mentioned is working 24/7 to
finish their plant and get their new application.
California outlawed the horse meat trade in
1998, horse theft dropped by 30% in that state as a result.
On the Federal level, the US House of
Representatives is considering a bill (H.R. 857), which would
end horse slaughter for food, including exporting both the flesh
and live horses. This bill is currently before the House
Committee of Agriculture.
I urge people to write their elected officials
at both the state and federal levels asking them to support this
According to Illinois law, horses are
considered to be companion animals alongside dogs and cats. As
such, horses should be protected from slaughter.
For more information, please visit
Duane L. Burright, Jr.
Related letters to the editor:
letters on horse slaughter article," January 20, 2004