Horse slaughter for human consumption halted
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2007:
SPRINGFIELD, AUSTIN, WASHINGTON D.C.–Horse slaughter for
human consumption appeared to be ended within the U.S. on May 24, as
result of legislation signed that day by Illinois Governor Rod
Blagojevich, killed by the Texas legislature the same day, and
allowed to stand without comment by the U.S. Supreme Court two days
Illinois House Bill 1711, introduced by state
representative Bob Molaro and state senator John Cullerton,
prohibits killing horses for human consumption, effective
immediately. Cavel International had operated the last horsemeat
slaughtering plant in the U.S. in DeKalb, Illinois.
The Cavel slaughterhouse was closed in March 2007 after U.S.
District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the U.S.
Department of Agriculture violated the National Environmental Policy
Act by allowing the company to pay for USDA inspections, after
Congress in 2005 cut off federal funding in an attempt to stop horse
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit on May 3, 2007 allowed Cavel to resume paying for
inspections, and thereby to resume killing horses, while pursuing
The U.S. Supreme Court on May 22, 2007 rejected a horse
slaughter industry appeal of a January 2007 ruling by the 5th Circuit
Court of Appeals that upheld the constitutionality of a 1949 Texas
law against horse slaughter for human consumption. The Texas law was
not enforced until more than 50 years after passage. An attempt to
undo the law, introduced into the Texas Senate after the appellate
ruling, did not advance.
Horse slaughter industry representatives argued that
slaughtering is a needed means of disposing of old, injured, and
ill horses. Responded Humane Society of the U.S. senior vice
president for legislation Mike Markarian, “USDA statistics show that
more than 92 percent of horses slaughtered in the U.S. are not old
and infirm, but are in good condition.”
Markarian urged Congress to pass federal anti-horse slaughter
legislation which would curtail exporting live horses to be killed
abroad. U.S. slaughterhouses killed 108,000 horses in 2006; 30,000
were sent to slaughter in Canada or Mexico.