If passed, an Illinois bill, sponsored by State Representative Bob Molaro (D-Chicago), would prohibit the transportation of horses into the state for the sole purpose of slaughter for human consumption.
The bill was introduced into the Senate on Feb. 22 and could be the first step in closing Cavel International, a Belgian company that runs Illinois’ only horse slaughter plant located near DeKalb.
In January, a U.S. appeals court upheld a law that prohibits horses from being slaughtered in Texas, the only other state that houses horse slaughter plants, and sent overseas for human consumption.
“When I read about the Jan. 20th Fifth Circuit Court decision upholding a longstanding Texas law which bans the slaughter of horses for human consumption, I was thrilled to learn that two of the remaining three companies engaged in this grisly business had finally been shut down,” said Molaro.
In May of 2004, a similar bill passed easily in the Illinois Senate but was defeated in the House. This year, however, it is anticipated that the bill will pass.
“Horse owners, veterinarians, residents of Illinois and the American people want an end to slaughter, and Illinois legislators are standing up to end this cruel industry,” said Chris Heyde, deputy legislative director of the Society for Animal Protective Legislation.
Molaro agreed. “Illinois has long been a leader in animal protection and anti-cruelty laws, and as such, it is high time we put an end to equine cruelty and join Texas and all other U.S. states in protecting horses from needless slaughter,” he said.