HORSE SLAUGHTER IN ILLINOIS
January 9, 2004
Contact: Gail Vacca, 815-761-4937, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anti-horse slaughter bill still needed while plant continues rebuilding
Several Senators and Representatives have informed the lobby groups supporting SB 1921, (Representative Molaro's bill to make horse slaughter for human consumption illegal in Illinois) that Cavel International is stating they intend to not go forward at this time with their plans to resume slaughtering horses at a facility being constructed in DeKalb, Illinois. Cavel has further stated to the Agriculture Department that they recognize the will of the people is against slaughter of horses and plan to respect that will at this time.
This does not remove the reasons or rationale to pass SB 1921. It is vital that the wishes of the people to protect horses from slaughter for human consumption are formally recognized by the passage of this bill. After all, if Cavel is removing their objections to the bill, then at this point there are no interested bodies coming forward against the bill and it can be passed unanimously.
Cavel International's slaughter plant license from the Agriculture Department was issued in error (they had no facilities at the time of issue and thus nothing to license). Cavel voluntarily surrendered their license rather than face censure or the possibility of not getting it renewed after their plant construction was done.
This allows them to get the license back with no penalty, and they have been working 24/7 at their facilities in DeKalb rebuilding and getting it ready to reopen in March 2004. Although they have stated that they do not plan to re-apply for the license, the actual work on the plant continues (it has not been stopped) and the plant will be ready to go into operation within the next few months.
Even if Cavel chooses not to use the facility, the fact that it is being rebuilt means that it will be available for one of the many other horse slaughter companies operating in Canada, Texas, Mexico, and Europe to use. Without SB 1921 being passed, horse slaughter in Illinois has not been stopped. There is no surety that the plant will not be used for that purpose once the work is completed unless horse slaughter for human consumption is made illegal.
There is no way to make sure other plants aren't opened in Illinois for that purpose until a bill making horse slaughter for human consumption is law. A letter of intent from one company does not stop other companies from looking at taking over the Cavel facilities once they are complete, and starting up production of horse flesh to be shipped overseas for people to dine on in fancy restaurants.
Since Cavel has announced that it is no longer going to slaughter horses, then they should have no opposition to the bill and only the wishes of the people are left to consider. The people of Illinois stand firmly in favor of this bill, and support efforts to get it passed speedily. The people of the rest of America are watching and cheering as we recognize the special status of horses in their hearts and homes and make slaughter for human consumption in Illinois illegal.