March 26, 2004 - 5:11 pm - DeKalb
Horse Slaughtering Facility Set To Open in DeKalb

by Katie Hammer

It's been two years since fire destroyed Cavel International a horse slaughtering facility in DeKalb. Officials still have not determined what caused the blaze, but Cavel manager James Tucker has suspicions.

"There are enough groups that have said they would take any action they felt necessary to shut down plants that includes meat packing plants," says James Tucker.

Cavel has risen from the ashes and will continue to slaughter up to a 100 horses a day, only this time under tighter security. The new building is equipped with surveillance cameras, barb-wired fence and sprinkler systems.

Tucker knows there are people out there they may try to vandalize or destroy the building, even though the horse slaughtering process is humane, he says.

"We have a USDA license so there is a vet here at all times when were processing," says Tucker.

30,000 pounds of horse meat will be processed every week and ship to Europe and other foreign countries.

"Here we have a protein source that would otherwise be wasted and we're doing something with it," says Tucker.