March 19, 2004 - 9:08 am - Rockford
Bill Proposed to Ban Horse Slaughtering
Ill. State Rep. Robert Molaro
Ill. State Rep. Robert Molaro

Posted 3/18/04 10:00 p.m.
Updated 3/19/04 9:10 a.m.

by Alison Ahmoye

For many people, horses are dignified animals, but in some parts of the world, they are considered a delicacy.

State Representative Robert Molaro wants to see that Illinois no longer plays a part in slaughtering horses for their meat. "We don't breed horses to slaughter them for human consumption," Molaro said. "That's what we're going to outlaw in this bill, not in this state, not in this country, and that's what this bill does. It's that simple."

The proposed bill comes at a time when a slaughtering facility in DeKalb is preparing to reopen. The plant had burned down a few years ago.

Horse lovers and animal-rights activists say the practice is inhumane. But opponents of the bill disagree. "The slaughtering method is the same as for other animals such as cattle and other livestock," State Senator Brad Burzynski said in a phone interview with WTVO.

"There is a market for horse meat overseas," Burzynski added. "This is not an illegal act."

Burzynski says the bill ignores the positive impact the facility will have, such as providing jobs, which will help boost the local economy.

The bill could come up for vote as early as next Wednesday.