Horse Slaughter Legislation Introduced in Illinois

February 22 2007 Article # 8986


A bill introduced in the Illinois State Legislature today (Feb. 22) could be a first step toward closing the state's horse slaughter plant.

A Belgian company, Cavel International, runs a horse slaughter plant near DeKalb, Ill. A recent federal court decision has made it difficult for two Texas plants to operate, and could lead to their permanent closure. The three plants are the only facilities in the country that slaughter horses and export the meat for human consumption in Europe and Asia.

The Illinois bill is sponsored by State Rep. Bob Molaro (D-Chicago). It would prohibit the transportation of horses into the state for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and the Illinois Department of Agriculture supported a similar bill when it was last introduced. Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D) is leading the federal effort with a bill cosponsored by Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY). Similar legislation is pending in the U.S. Senate.

In May of 2004 a similar bill passed the Illinois Senate, but was narrowly defeated in the House.

"This year, we are confident the legislation will clear both houses and be signed into law by Governor Blagojevich," said Chris Heyde, deputy legislative director of the Society for Animal Protective Legislation.