Chicago Sun Times
May 18, 2004
Michael Sneed

She's a '10' . . .

Actress Bo Derek is riding to the rescue of horses killed for gourmet food.

The actress, who has been trying to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption overseas, is galloping to Springfield today.

*The upshot: Sneed hears Derek will meet with the "4 Tops," i.e., our legislative leaders, before she testifies at a Senate Executive Committee hearing on House Bill 649, which seeks to save horses from human consumption. The House bill, which was sponsored by state Rep. Bob Molaro, has now gained a new hero, state Sen. John Cullerton -- who is sponsoring the legislation in the Senate.

*The buckshot: ''It's going to be a tough bill to pass,'' Cullerton told Sneed. ''But it's the right thing to do. And I believe the slaughterhouse in DeKalb, Ill. -- Cavel International -- which will slaughter horses for human consumption overseas, opened Monday or will open this week.''

*The downshot: Nearly 50,000 horses were slaughtered in the United States last year. The DeKalb slaughterhouse will be the third such facility in the United States. The other two slaughterhouses are in Texas.

*The backshot: Derek, best known for her role in the mega-hit film, ''10,'' does not want horses killed for foreign palates. ''We don't use horses any longer for pet food, so why are we sending them to other countries?" Derek told the press in Washington, D.C. ''Americans don't raise horses for food and we don't eat them."

*The slapshot: The actress, who addressed legislators on Capitol Hill Monday, stated: ''Tens of thousands of horses are cruelly slaughtered in this country every year, just so someone in Europe can have a fancy dinner." Derek will host a reception in Springfield today, sponsored by the National Horse Protection Coalition at Pass Field House.

So folks, get your e-mails and faxes dispatched post haste to your legislators, especially to state Sen. Bradley Burzynski, whose district includes the DeKalb slaughterhouse.

Horse slaughter II . . .

Watch for ''Lucky'' the horse, who was saved from slaughter in 1985 -- and now entertains children at the Noble Horse Theatre in Old Town -- to appear at the Derekreception in Springfield.