WMBD Channel 31 Central Illinois

Activists Fighting Dekalb Horse Slaughterhouse
Friday, January 09, 2004

The U.S.D.A. estimates 42,000 horses were slaughtered in the U.S. last year. But did you know they`re for human consumption? There are only two horse slaughterhouses for human consumption in the U.S. And that number will increase to three if a Dekalb company wins its intense battle with animal rights activists. Horse trainer Gail Vacca is nearly pushed to tears to think what may happen a mile away from her home. A horse slaughterhouse is being built by Belguim based Cavel Incorporated, a slaughterhouse for human consumption in European countries. Hundreds of people are joining Vacca to help pass a state law to stop it. In the state of Illinois, killing horses for human consumption is legal, although eating horses is not. Cavel officials say the activists need to back off. What frustrates the activists is the sensitive video shot at a horse slaughterhouse in Texas within the last year. The national horse protection coalition hardly calls this process humane. Ms. Vacca says this isn`t an animal rights issue, it`s a companion animal rights issue. Her opponents call this type of horse slaughter an uneasy subject, but a legal one. And those legalities will be debated in Springfield next week.