Equine Slaughter Plant Continues Legal Battle

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Cavel International went to the Supreme Court to the forced closure

The Associated Press has reported that a lawyer for the horse slaughter facility, Cavel International, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Illinois law that forced the plant’s closure in September.

Cavel International, based in DeKalb, Ill., was the last remaining equine slaughter facility in America. Two other U.S. plants, both in Texas, closed earlier this year.

Cavel’s legal fight has been long running. On Sept. 21, the plant tried to persuade a federal appellate court to overturn an Illinois law that prohibits the killing of horses for human consumption. That law was passed in May 2007, but Cavel claimed it violated international commerce rules.

Cavel lost its argument.

“Even if no horses live longer as a result of the new law, a state is permitted, within reason, to express disgust at what people do with the dead, whether dead human beings or dead animals,” Judge Richard Posner wrote for the federal appellate court Sept. 21.

Cavel killed as many as 60,000 horses each year. At one time, about 1,000 horses a week were being killed and processed at the DeKalb plant. The horsemeat was then exported to other countries.

Cavel has operated for 20 years, generated $20 million in annual revenue and employed about 60 people, according to court documents.

According to Cavel’s attorney, the plant has until Jan. 18, 2008 to file its latest petition.

3 COMMENTS

  1. They need to leave them closed for good!! These horses has every right to live their lives out just like humans. You don’t see them slaughtering people because there are too many of us do you? NO, so just let the horses be and let them have a chance at life! Horses has been here longer than anyone else has so they are part of american history so leave them alone!!! I say close the slaughter houses down for good and keep the horses living!!! “SAVE THE HORSES!!”

  2. I’m glad it’s closing down. That like eating your friends or your dog. In England they don’t even allow export of horse to a country that will kill them.

  3. SLAUGHTER IS NOT THE WAY GET RID OF UNWANTED HORSES–MOST HORSE OWNERS ARE REASONABLE WITH THIS THOUGHT–SOME ARE NEGLIGENT–NOT ALL

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