Times Daily, Northwest Alabama 
May 29, 2004

Ill. Bill to Halt Horse Slaughter Fails

Associated Press Writer

Graphic footage of horses being butchered and a personal appeal from actress Bo Derek were not enough to persuade Illinois lawmakers on Friday to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

The measure was aimed at keeping the Cavel International Inc. slaughterhouse in DeKalb - one of only three U.S. slaughterhouses to kill horses for human consumption - from reopening this spring, more than two years after the building was destroyed by fire. Belgium-based Cavel exports the horse meat to Europe.

The proposed ban failed in the House on a 51-60 vote.

"I have never seen anything slap Illinois agriculture in the face more than this bill does," said Republican Rep. Jim Sacia, who argued it would be wrong to bar the slaughter of any livestock, no matter how unpleasant it looked on tape.

Derek, a spokeswoman for the National Horse Protection Coalition, urged lawmakers last week to ban the practice, and the Senate passed the bill.

Opponents questioned the constitutionality of the measure, saying it would be wrong to legislate what people can eat.

Rep. Charles Morrow, a Chicago Democrat, also complained about Derek's involvement, saying: "I find it insulting that we're now governing by celebrity."