Bo knows . . . horse politics
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
By The Leader-Springfield Bureau

Hollywood film star Bo Derek was in Springfield this week, lobbying for the horse slaughter ban.

Derek, a conservative Republican, addressed the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.
 
Okay, here it is -- the famous photo of Derek from her 1979 film, "10."
SPRINGFIELD -- Hollywood film star Bo Derek rode into Illinois in an attempt to rescue one of her lifelong passions -- horses -- from slaughter.

The author of a book entitled, Riding Lessons: Everything That Matters in Life I Learned from Horses, Derek apparently learned that horses are non-partisan.

The 48 year old actress, most known for her role in the 1979 movie, "10", was at the state capitol on Tuesday and Wednesday, working with Chicago Democrat State Representative Robert Molaro to save horses from slaughter in Illinois.

Molaro needs five more votes to ride the bill through the State House.

Only two states -- Illinois and Texas -- allow horse slaughter for human consumption.

Ms. Derek has some experience in politics.

She was an active promoter of President George W. Bush in 2000 and addressed the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia that summer.

Derek, who has considers herself a conservative Republican, recently was featured on the Bill O'Reilly FOX News show where she said her Hollywood career has suffered because of her Republican political leanings.

But in Springfield, it was a Republican state legislator who wasn't overly impressed with horse slaughter ban advocates bringing in Derek to promote their agenda.

State Representative Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley), in whose DeKalb County district the only horse slaughter facility in the state exists, said he wasn't convinced the film star's presence would be enough to garner the needed votes. Pritchard opposes the ban.

Fans and lawmakers posed for photos with Derek during a reception sponsored by the National Horse Protection Coalition.

Belgium-owned Cavel International slaughters horses and prepares the meat for consumption by humans. Eating horsemeat is illegal in the U.S., so the meat is transported to Europe and Japan for consumption.

Animal rights activists and humane groups are promoting the legislation while the Illinois Farm Bureau opposes the ban.

2004 Illinois Leader.com -- all rights reserved
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