Online News
The Horse Magazine
July 2, 2004
Slaughter Plant Reopens
June 2004 Article # 1491

The Cavel International horse slaughter plant in DeKalb, Ill., opened for business June 2. The plant was destroyed by fire on March 31, 2002, and a new facility was constructed at the same location.

James Tucker, manager, said that the new plant opened in early June, but had not yet reached full capacity by the end of the month. The plant is designed to slaughter and process 100 horses per day. The horse meat is marketed in Europe and Japan for human consumption.

Tucker said the plant draws horses from sellers throughout the Midwest.

Just recently, a bill aimed at banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption was defeated in the Illinois House of Representatives. Tucker said the bill was defeated despite a vigorous and apparently well-financed lobbying effort on its behalf. (A companion bill was passed by the Illinois Senate in May.) After its defeat in the House, the bill was referred to the rules committee, but cannot be reconsidered until at least January of 2005.

The Cavel plant is one of three in operation in the United States. The other two are in Texas.