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
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