April 28, 2004 - 9:28 am - DeKalb
Local Horse Slaughtering Facility Set To Reopen

Posted 4/27/04 9:15 p.m.
Updated 4/28/04 9:28 a.m.

by Alison Ahmoye

Two years after burning to the ground, Cavel International is putting the final touches on its new facility.

"I think it's important to reopen because we offer a service to the agriculture community," says project manager James Tucker.

The horse slaughtering plant plans to open for business in a few weeks despite encountering major opposition from animal rights groups and legislators.

"Our point of view, of course it's a business, but it's also a recycling resource," Tucker says. "Here you have a large source of protein that should be recycled, otherwise we're basically throwing the animal away."

Opponents say horse slaughtering is inhumane and animals should be euthanized with drugs. But Tucker says Cavel's method is very quick. The company usually buys horses from auctions for slaughtering purposes, but some horse owners support this practice as well.

Cavel International says there are cost benefits for horse owners to bring their horses for slaughtering.

"It's a resource for horse owners that need to dispose of animals," Tucker says. "A person with a horse that's not usable or dangerous, or whatever, they can bring the horse to us for slaughter and make a few hundred dollars."

If state or federal legislation to ban horse slaughtering passes, Tucker says there are legal avenues to explore. Still the ban would force Cavel to close its doors, forever.