Should Horse Slaughter Be Legal in Illinois?

As we know, horse slaughter is a very emotional topic. Ever since it became illegal to operate such a slaughter house in Illinois two years ago, there has been a horse population boom. And now, Representative Jim Sacia wants a bill passed that allows horse slaughterhouses, such as Cavel International in Dekalb, to resume production.
Sacia says plants like Cavel end an animals' life humanely and can be done so with government oversight. Ever since Cavel shut down production, some breeders are abandoning their horses, while others seek out expensive euthanasia. Thousands of horses are now being exported to Mexico and Canada for slaughter in conditions Sacia says are unacceptable. Supporters of the ban say they still do not want to see their pets on dining room tables in other countries.
"Nobody wants horse slaughter. My horses will never go to slaughter. [But] we need it as a viable option," says Jim Sacia.
"Horses here are treated as pets. I think if there are enough people out there that dont want this, they should let their congressman know," says Jan Stewart.
Right now, Sacia says he's working with fellow representatives and horse rescue groups to finalize the bill, and he hopes to see it on the House floor by April. His opponants say they remain optimistic that it will not pass.
There is also a federal bill being discussed that would ban horse slaughter across the US, as well as prevent transporting horses to other countries for slaughter. There is no timetable for that bill, but it would trump any state laws.

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  • by Linds Location: New Jersey on Dec 1, 2010 at 05:26 PM
    NO!!!!!!! I'm totally against it... and MILLIONS, AND MILLIONS of people disagree with the idea! Does anybody even know what happens there? Ok,what if you were a horse? How would you like it if you were killed and starved and stuck in a small field? I bet you wouldn't love it! So, think about how they feel! I mean, there's plenty of room for horses out there in this world.
  • by BW Location: Iowa on Oct 2, 2009 at 09:25 AM
    I agree with Marcella, i love horses and have been around and riding them since i could walk, but there comes a time when people need to just accept the fact that not EVERY horse is sutiable as a pet or for work. People might as well use those animals for meat just like people do with cows and pigs, people have other animals as pets to that are used for meat purpose. Its a fact of nature, one animal dies to feed another. For these reasons HOrse slaughter should be legal, but i the process of the slaughter needs to be changed in the way that the horses are slaughteted. The process of killing needs to be quick and simple, not stabbed and chained up to bleed out before the animal is even dead.
  • by Marcella Location: Colorado on May 28, 2009 at 06:13 AM
    We really need Horse Slaughter to be legal again. It needs to be regulated so the horses are safer in transport. Most of the pictures shown on "the abuse" from horse slaughter was simply from horses being transported in cattle trucks. I am a breeder and every now and then a horse comes out nuts or gets injured beyond sound repair. Why not still make the horse useful? As food for at least dogs? I know horses are our pets and I have been a horse lover my entire life. but lets be reasonable and think logically about this. Now horses and people are suffering way more because slaughter is illegal than before when slaughter was legal. Starving and unwanted horses are everyware now. Please be aware of all the facts and conciquences when dealing with this issue. Horse meat is healthy and its best when the horse is older, what a perfect animal to use for meat. Also very young horses under 3. Perfect! Unusable horses either too old to use, or just unsafe can still be useful, as meat.
  • by CJ Location: Illinois on Apr 12, 2009 at 07:25 PM
    Representative Jim Sacia is RIGHT ON! We need to open horse processing facilities in the US and sell it over the counter here. We sold in during WW@ and we should start again.............we have no salvage value for horse at this time and it is causing hardship on horse owners. What happened to freedom of choice? If these horse huggers want to save up at the auctions and bid against the meat buyers.....pretty simple.
  • by dennis Location: indiana on Mar 27, 2009 at 06:51 AM
    make sure if you give a horse to someone that it is not going to the killers. some people will con you and make you think they love horses but they do not. i know of people in my area that do it and think its funny. and i have offered to buy the horse and they get more from the killers and wont sell.
  • by Amy Location: WI on Mar 26, 2009 at 09:46 AM
    I am sick of people blaming the closing of the slaughter plants for the "horse boom" That is NOT the problem. Its the breeders fault, plain and simple. Has it ever occurred to anyone, that if we open the plants it will encourage more crappy horse breeding??? This is America, we DO NOT eat horses. Breeders now, need to only breed replacement horses to preserve the best horses, cut back, that will bring the price of horses up, and solve the whole problem!!! Since the price is so low now, anyone can afford to buy one, but not everyone can afford to feed one, thats why the neglect and abuse has gone up. America WAKE UP!!!
  • by Michele Macha Location: Wisconsin on Mar 25, 2009 at 12:47 PM
    Yes, Yes & Yes!! We need slaughter horses are been starved and turned loose daily because of no where to go with them. It is a necessary evil just like in any specie. You cannot even give horses away and sanctuaries are full. Abuse and inhumane is watching them starve. Please bring it back.
  • by Rhonda on Mar 23, 2009 at 10:35 PM
    YES--YES--WE NEED SLAUGHTER...Dogs and cats are put down daily...So lets have something for the horses instead of seen them starved out in fields. People can't afford horses like they can't hardly afford themselves. People don't get it. City people shouldn't have a choice in this. Leave it to the people who NO what slaughter is all about. And the horses that need it instead of suffering. Bring BACK SLAUGHTER...PLEASE!!!
  • by Anonymous Location: wisconsin on Mar 23, 2009 at 03:57 PM
    NO I will take them I will take ANY horse that does not need any vet care. Please email me at
  • by Terri Location: Indiana on Mar 10, 2009 at 03:05 AM
    Heck NO horse slaughter should not be legal in Illinois or anywhere else in this country. All of this propaganda.. I wonder how much Mr. Sacia stands to gain from his support of the horse slaughter industry... I doubt that he's doing anything for free.
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