Last American slaughter plant closes in Illinois

30 05 2007

The state with the nation’s last operating horse slaughterhouse made it illegal to kill the animals for human consumption on Thursday.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he was proud to sign the law, calling it “past time to stop slaughtering horses in Illinois.” A slaughterhouse in DeKalb has been shipping horse meat overseas, where it is sold for people to eat. The practice has outraged people who feel horses are more like pets than livestock. A phone call to Cavel International’s plant went unanswered Thursday evening.

Two other horse slaughter plants in Texas were shut down this year.

Illinois lawmakers passed the ban after an appeal from actress Bo Derek. In a statement, she applauded the move. Link

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6 responses

30 05 2007
Callie

This will profoundly affect the horse industry in so many ways. Horses will be given away to people who may not understand what it takes to care for one. Others will be abandoned and left at feed lots or auction houses to starve. There’s not enough voluteers or sanctuaries to handle the amount of unwanted horses as it is. And there is so many unresponsible breeders out there. They won’t change. What next ? Bo Derek, Do you have a viable solution? Better yet, Are you willing to take in these unpapered, unwanted horses and feed them? Did anyone stop to think of the long term consequences to the horse industry? What is the solution now?

30 05 2007
defrostindoors

The article makes it sound like she phoned them up, and the legislators went “Oh, Bo Derek says so? OK then.”
What needs to happen is people need to think about horses the way they do about dogs and cats: unless there is a compelling reason, and you know what you’re doing, don’t breed. If you have two horses with outstanding temperament, conformation (to the breed standard please–their OWN breed standard, Morgan people!) and soundness, and the foal is marketable as performance or breeding stock, then by all means. Don’t just throw your pet mare in with the stud down the road because it would be kewl or whatever. If you want something specific, it’s a lot easier to buy a young’n with the traits you want than to breed for it and hope you get what you’re after.
For the love of god, if your mare or stud is unsound and can’t be ridden, driven or shown, don’t decide they’re going to become stay-at-home parents, as it were. If the soundness is caused by some hereditary weakness or conformational defect, why would you want to pass that on? If the horse can’t be trained or used, how do you know it has any ability worth passing on? Obviously accidents happen, but I see a suspicious number of studs advertised with no show/training record and the owners claim there was some sort of accident. Would you be breeding him if he were usable? Just because he can breed doesn’t mean that’s the best thing to do with him; he should have something worth passing on. If your kids have outgrown their sweet pony mare, sell her to another child who can learn from her; don’t ask her to start popping out babies just to justify keeping her around. And for the love of god, if a horse is too ornery to be ridden or handled, it should be gelded (if male) or otherwise removed from the gene pool. There are enough crabby, badly-conformed horses out there as it is; why add more to the pool? I shudder whenever I see people saying that a mare is hard to handle in some way, yet would make a good broodmare. NO SHE WOULDN’T, any more than Karla Homolka would make a good mother just because she has a functioning uterus and isn’t doing much else with her life. Foals learn a lot of their behaviour from their dams, after all. If your mare has a nickname like “Raptor” or “Widowmaker” you probably don’t want any babies from her.

30 05 2007
barngoddess

I have mixed feelings about this. I think horse slaughter for human consumption is WRONG but I also think stopping horse slaughter is going to cause problems with unwanted and sick horses who are gong to be mistreated or left to starve.

Why cant slaughter plants find a humane way to slaughter horses instead of the horrendous conditions they have now or I guess I should say have had in the past. The shooting of a bolt thru their skull and hoping it kills them the first time instead of stunning them isnt humane nor is it humane to keep them in cramped dry lots hearing other horses terrified screams.

Why cant there be something acceptable for unwanted horses?

31 05 2007
horsetalkwithjen

OK, let me get some facts out here for people. i have done numerous shows on the horse slaughter topic for my radio show. my guests have included equine industry ecomomic experts, us congressmen, and most importantly dr temple grandin.

1. the horses still end up at slaughter. they just have to travel farther (which has always been the issue here, look up wild horse annie who started all this to begin with.) then they are subject to slaughter plants that are not up to u.s. code. ie. they run the risk of dying a horrible death. they are also being flown to countries of orgin before being dispatched. they also will be killed in the u.s. for zoo food.

2. captive bolt kills are the most humane way to euthanize an animal. including chemical euthanasia. captive bolt is instant vs. chemical which can take minutes. a trained professional in both cases is what makes the difference between humane and horrible.

3. the posting on the internet of horses going to horrible deaths at slaughter plants are of foreign plants. the equipment gives them away. by closing down the u.s. slaughter plants we have all just sentenced more horses do die this way…thanks bo.

4. people voting on these bills ie. congressmen and senators have no idea what they are voting on. they simply ride the polls. the congressman on my show varified that.

5. a lot of this legislation was targeted at the blm. congressmen rahall, who is responsible for drafting most of these bills and presenting them is quoted as saying “instead of managing these living symbols of the american west, blm has been permitted to allow the slaughter of animals they had previously been charged with protecting – an irrespnsible approach to managing our public lands and the wildlife that roam them.” THE BLM HAS NEVER SOLD WILD MUSTANGS FOR SLAUGHTER. EVER. that is why as of june there will be equal amounts of range horses to feed lots. 30,000 in each.

6. and this is the most important. weather you are pro or against. get your facts straight. our congressmen or senators have no idea what the hell is going on in the trenches. and if blonde bimbos that love the “my pretty ponies” know so much, how come they are not campaigning at the root of the problem which is ethics and education in breeding.

these animals need us. we are their voices. we make the diference between healthy living and dignity in death. please educate yourself and your representives. one thing is for certain, things are going to get really ugly for the unwanted horses in america. which will eventually effect our domestic herds.

think pro active,

jen

4 06 2007
Illinois slaughter plant re-opens pending legal action « Bridlepath

[...] Illinois slaughter plant re-opens pending legal action 4 06 2007 Update to last week’s post: [...]

11 06 2008
Jerry

The numbers I have heard that in recent years around 65,000 horses go to slaughter in this country. We can debate all day about how too many people are breeding too many horses for all the wrong reasons. My opinion is that a mare should NEVER be breed unless that breeder knows For Certain that the off spring will be sold. Not many can say that! Bet me! The way it is now these “unwanted” horses are being shipped off in some VERY poor conditions to slaughter in places like Mexico. Think they are treated with respect and humanely inroute and in that plant? NOT!
Lets get a plan and STOP all this breeding. With the price of hay, we are going to see a LOT more starving horese this next winter, you can Bet the Ranch on it.

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