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Horse slaughter in Illinois

Contact: Tracy Silverman, Esq., AWI (703) 836-4300
Chris Heyde, SAPL (703) 836-4300

July 18, 2007

Cavel to Resume Horse Slaughter Operations

Chicago, Ill. (July 18, 2007) – In a crushing blow to horses and the people of Illinois, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit granted a motion by Cavel International, allowing it to resume horse slaughter operations. Cavel was previously shut down in June, when the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied the same request.

Immediately following the passage in May of a new Illinois law that makes it a crime to slaughter horses for human consumption, Cavel filed suit in federal court to challenge the mandate's enforceability. On July 5, the US District Court ruled that the law was constitutional and thus, enforceable.

However, Cavel has appealed that decision to the US Court of Appeals, and while the appeal is pending, the slaughterhouse will be able to slaughter horses for human consumption. The US Court of Appeals granted Cavel’s request without a hearing, just two days after the slaughterhouse filed its motion.

“We would have liked an opportunity to oppose Cavel’s request before the Court handed down its decision, and we are certainly disappointed with this ruling,” said Tracy Silverman, an attorney with the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI).

The US Court of Appeals is expected to issue opinions related to its decision, as well as an expedited briefing schedule, shortly. Represented by the nationally renowned law firm Patton Boggs, AWI will continue to be actively involved in this case until its resolution.

The Animal Welfare Institute, founded in 1951, is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. AWI's legislative division, the Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL), is leading the national campaign to end horse slaughter and advocating passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. For more information, please visit and



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