The only horse slaughter plant currently operating in the United States is in DeKalb, Ill., but that may soon change as a bill to outlaw horse slaughter for human consumption in Illinois goes to the Governor Rod Blagojevich to sign.
On Wednesday, May 16, the senate voted 39-16 to stop Cavel International from continuing to slaughter horses and ship their meat overseas. A spokeswoman for Blagojevich said he is likely to sign the bill but must review it first.
The two other U.S. horse slaughter plants in Texas were shut down earlier this year when, on March 5, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 1949 state law banning the sale of horsemeat for human consumption.
Cavel was also shut down briefly when a federal court ruled that the U.S. Food And Drug Administration officials couldn’t inspect the plant, even for a fee. The slaughterhouse can’t operate without inspections. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted Cavel an emergency stay on May 1 while an appeal of the ruling to end the fee-for-service inspections is considered.