Activist criticizes advocate for horses over slaughtering
Publication Northwest Herald
Date April 28, 2004
Section(s) Local News

Northwest Herald

NORTH BARRINGTON - An animal-rights group Tuesday accused the founder of a Barrington-based horse-advocacy organization of supporting the slaughtering of horses.

Steve Hindi, president of Showing Animals Respect & Kindness, said Donna Ewing, the founder and president of the Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society, has backed legislation to allow horses to be slaughtered.

At the North Barrrington Village Hall on Tuesday, the animal-rights group showed a video of horses being butchered.

Hindi said Ewing was invited to watch the film, but she declined.

"[Ewing] can't show up," Hindi said. "[She] can't face the video."

Ewing said the group has misrepresented her position.

"I find [horse slaughtering] deplorable, sad, and wish it never had to be done, but it's a necessary evil," she said.

Ewing said Hindi's group knows where she stands on the issue. She said a horse-slaughtering factory being built in DeKalb would keep abused and neglected horses from being shipped to Mexico or Canada. Horses sent out of the county could face harsh treatment from severe weather and a long trip, she said.

Ewing said she does not condone eating horse meat, but she said she disagrees with telling others how to live. She said Cavel International, owner of the slaughtering plant in DeKalb, can do a better job of putting horses down than the factories in Mexico or elsewhere.

Cavel will pay $200 to $300 for each horse and ship the processed meat mostly to European countries for human consumption, company spokesman Jim Tucker has said.

Hindi's group is trying to raise support in the General Assembly for Senate Bill 1921, which would ban horse slaughtering in Illinois. The bill passed in the state Senate.

Ewing testified against the legislation in November in front of the House Executive Committee.

Ewing said she encouraged the House to vote no but would rather have horse meat fed to zoo animals if the bill becomes law.

Meanwhile, Belgium-based Cavel International prepares to reopen a horse slaughterhouse in weeks, Tucker said. The factory would be one of three in the United States and the only one in Illinois. Tucker said he disputed the authenticity of the video.

Hindi said the graphic nature of the video was necessary to reveal "the horror horses endure as they are brutally murdered for profit."

Ewing, who also founded the Hooved Animal Humane Society in Woodstock more than 30 years ago, said opponents of the horse slaughterhouse do not have better alternatives.

"I am looking for a practical and a moral solution," she said.