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Horse slaughter in Illinois

AWI news release

Contact: Chris Heyde, (202) 446-2142

Urge Your Representative to Vote NO on HB 5382

A bill to reopen cruel horse slaughter plants in Illinois

Urgent calls are needed to protect equine welfare in the state of Illinois. Please contact your Illinois State Representative to help preserve the 2007 Illinois ban on horse slaughter, which ultimately resulted in the closure of the last remaining horse slaughter plant in the United States.

On February 9, State Representative Richard Morthland (R) reintroduced a bill to overturn the 2007 Illinois ban on horse slaughter. The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Agriculture and Conservation, which has not scheduled a hearing on the measure. A similar bill has been introduced every year since the original ban, only to be soundly defeated each time. It is an issue that has been discussed and voted on many times before and the facts remain the same – the slaughter process subjects horses to extreme cruelty and an inhumane death, and should remain illegal.

During debate on the last bill to restore horse slaughter, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn reiterated his desire to protect the welfare of animals, “As long as I am governor, we're never going to pass any kind of legislation that allows cruelty toward animals, whether it be dogs, cats or any other living things.”

We are confident the Illinois House is strongly opposed to HB 5382, and will vote NO on the bill. However, Representative Morthland and the previous sponsor of the bill, Representative Jim Sacia (R) are determined to undermine this important and broadly supported horse slaughter ban. We must act now to ensure no horses are slaughtered in Illinois.

The Illinois General Assembly, as well as individuals from Illinois and around the country, unfortunately must continue dealing with this issue year after year, but we must remain vigilant against any and all attempts to overturn the 2007 ban on horse slaughter. It is a shame that our limited resources must be used to repeatedly engage in this fight, rather than expend the resources further protecting horses.


The Illinois House Committee on Agriculture and Conservation will take up HB 5382 within the next few weeks. The exact date has not been set but may happen soon, so your immediate calls and emails are critical. If your Representative serves on the Committee on Agriculture and Conservation, please contact him/her today to register your strong opposition to HB 5382. To find House member contact information, visit or see below.

For your convenience, below is a list of talking points to aid in placing calls and drafting emails. You can also visit for more information. Again, please take action for the horses today. They are counting on us!

Talking Points:

  • No matter what claims are made by horse slaughter advocates, please vote NO on HB 5382. Soundly defeating this bill will send a message across Illinois and the United States that horse slaughter and efforts to promote it are not acceptable.
  • The Illinois General Assembly banned horse slaughter by an overwhelming majority in 2007, and Representative Morthland’s bill, HB 5382, must be rejected.
  • Ending horse slaughter stopped an overt form of animal cruelty and has only been good for the horses. The state ban is important.
  • The animal welfare community, equine rescues, and the majority of Illinois residents DO NOT support the overturning of this ban.

Please ask your Representative to urge Representative Morthland to discontinue his attempts to overturn the horse slaughter bill. Your Representative should also urge Representative Morthland to support the federal bill, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, in order to advance the welfare of equines in Illinois if he is truly concerned with the welfare of our horses. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act ensures horses from Illinois and all over the United States will no longer be hauled to Canada or Mexico for slaughter.

Please share this "Dear Humanitarian" eAlert with all family, friends, colleagues and fellow horse enthusiasts! For more information on horse slaughter, you may visit

Thank you for all you do on behalf of the horses!

Chris Heyde
Deputy Director
Government and Legal Affairs
Animal Welfare Institute

Member Name Phone Number Email
Rep. Lisa M. Dugan, Chairperson (D) (217) 682-5981  
Rep. Patrick J. Verschoore, Vice-Chairperson (D) (217) 782-5970  
Rep. Jim Sacia, Spokesperson (R) (217) 782-8186
Rep. Jason Barickman (R) (217) 558-1039
Rep. Kelly Burke (D) (217) 782-0515
Rep. John D. Cavaletto (R) (217) 782-0066  
Rep. Jerry F. Costello, II (D) (217) 782-1018
Rep. Mary E. Flowers (D) (217) 782-4207
Rep. Norine Hammond (R) (217) 782-0416
Rep. Chad Hays (R) (217) 782-4811  
Rep. Frank J. Mautino (D) (217) 782-0140
Rep. Jack McGuire (D) (217) 782-8090
Rep. Donald L. Moffitt (R) (217) 782-8032
Rep. Brandon W. Phelps (D) (217) 782-5131
Rep. Wayne Rosenthal (R) (217) 782-8071  


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Recent headlines

Equine center’s fundraiser underway for permanent home (5/12)

Federal legislation introduced to prohibit slaughter of American horses (4/22)

Legislators reintroduce legislation to end cruel method of horse transport (4/9)

New Mexico: Judge halts planned Jan. 1 opening of horse slaughterhouse (12/31)

Federal appeals court halts opening of horse slaughter plants (11/5)



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